Cyber Security at Home: A Good Start

Woman sitting on the floor next to a couch using her laptop

By: Laura Farvour, Incident Response Security Analyst (University Information Security)

With the recent move to remote work, many people are asking an important question: how can I ensure the security of devices in my home? A brief Google search on this topic yields endless results that can be difficult to wade through or not applicable to your situation. 

There are a few key areas that are easy to change or implement that will have a large positive impact on the security of your home networks and the devices you use there. 

Nearly every device in your home connects to your home wireless network, and updating the security of your wireless network creates the first layer of defense. 

There are also many opportunities for securing the devices directly by changing default credentials, installing only trusted applications and software, and enabling automatic updates. 

Network

  • Change the login credentials for the administrator portal on your wireless router
  • Set a strong passphrase for your wireless network
  • Use a guest network for visitors to use in your home (when it’s safe to have visitors!)
  • Contact your Internet Service Provide (ISP) for details on how to do this with your device, if you are renting or have purchased from them directly

Devices

  • Change default credentials for all devices that come pre-configured (e.g. printers/scanners, security cameras, etc.)
  • Follow our recommendations for securing internet of things (IoT) devices at home.
  • Turn devices off when they are not in use

Software

  • Enable automatic updates for everything! 
  • Be deliberate when installing applications and software. Only install what you need, and make sure to install from trusted vendors

If you’re feeling adventurous and looking to learn some new skills, there are many opportunities beyond these that you can explore, as well! However, these core strategies are a strong foundation for creating a secure home network and for securing your devices while working from home.