The Scan: 10 Tips for Protecting Your Network

By on Nov 06, 2014

Hey guys! I’m Bradi, and this is a special edition of the Scan. In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re giving you ten ways to protect your home network, courtesy of Dan Tynan of Yahoo tech.

One: Fortify your Wi-Fi.
Change the default login name and passwords for your WiFi router and turn on WPA or WPA2 encryption. (Visit the manufacturer’s support site to find out how.) And while you’re at it, make sure the router’s firmware is up-to-date.

Two: Install antivirus software ON EVERYTHING and keep it up to date.
It can’t get much more obvious than this, but one out of four computers STILL aren’t running up-to-date security software, and only one in twenty smartphones are protected. Fortunately, there are plenty of software options out there, and many of them free.

Three: Keep your operating system current.
The easiest way to do this is set your computer to update automatically. The new OS version is always safer than the old one, so: Don’t wait, update. Hey, that’s catchy.

Four: Patch your software ‘til it hurts.
While you’re keeping your operating system updated, go ahead and update all your software, too. Some of the least-frequently updated programs like Oracle Java and Adobe Reader are also the most vulnerable to attack.

Five: Ditch outdated applications.
When software gets so old that the publishers stop supporting it, it’s time to let go. (I’m talking to you, Windows XP users.) Why? Because if a hacker finds a security hole, no one’s going to come along and fix it, which makes you a sitting duck.

Six: Use better passwords.
It’s not déjà vu, it’s common sense that some of you still aren’t using. If you can’t think of anything better than “password” or “123456,” use an encrypted password manager like 1Password, Dashlane or MaskMe.

Seven: Turn on two-factor authentication.
Adding a second “factor” like a PIN code you have to enter along with your password helps cut down on a stranger’s ability to access your account. If someone tries to access your account from an unknown device, you’ll receive an alert so you can go in and change your password before the bad guys get your info.

Eight: Wipe your old hardware.
Old hard drives, USB sticks, phones, and backup discs can be chock-full of highly personal data as well as passwords and other log-on credentials. Make sure to wipe them clean before you resell them. Or physically destroy them before you recycle.

Nine: Shut up on social media.
You don’t have to go dark on Facebook or bury your Twitter account, but you don’t need to share every facet of your life with total strangers, either. Especially if it’s the answer to any of your security questions.

Ten: Rally the troops.
You’ve just learned all this great info about security, so be sure you share it with everyone you know – especially if they live under your roof. After all, cybersecurity starts at home.

So there you have it: ten ways to keep your home network better protected from cyberattack. I’ll be coming to each of your houses to make sure you’ve done all this stuff, so hop on it.

Have a security tip that you think belongs the list? Tweet your number eleven with the hashtag “thescan11” for a chance to win a $100 AMEX gift card. You don’t HAVE to spend it McAfee software, but don’t you want to?

That’s it for this week. Visit mcafee.com/thescan to stay up to date on all the latest security news and tips. I’m Bradi. Thanks for watching and stay safe out there.

Bradi has spent the last 7 years in the security industry managing SMB marketing on a global scale. Her drive is to help others understand the importance of security whether consumer, IT professional or business owner. She spends her ‘hands free time’ with her family and dogs and enjoys road trips and doing anything outdoors.

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