October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and in an effort to help create awareness, each year Tulsa Tech’s Cyber Security faculty and students work to assemble a Cyber Spook House.
The Spook House is a unique, informative, and interactive forum that not only helps provide information regarding the latest online threats, but also offers some helpful home network security tips.
According to Cyber Security instructors Don Lawrence and Don Pipkin, there are five basic practices even you can do that greatly reduce the chance of having your home computer or network compromised by hackers, viruses, malware or another big breach affecting your personal data.
- Change the password on your wireless router – if you do not set a password or leave the manufacturer’s default password (which is well known), you are leaving yourself open to criminal activity that can be traced to your home (even if you did nothing wrong).
- Segment your home network – separate the data side (computers and tablets and phones) from the control side (thermostats, cameras, locks, alarm systems, etc.). This prevents compromising your whole network if only part gets compromised.
- Use password management apps and/or software – Long, complex passwords are some of the easiest ways to protect yourself. Password management apps make this easier.
- Don’t use names or dictionary words in passwords – This makes it easy for hackers using password guessing software to break your password.
- Don’t use mobile apps that ask for permission – if you can’t figure out why that app might need access to your files, your camera or your location.
Cyber Security is a very dynamic playing field, and the players are constantly changing. Following these recommended practices reduces your security risk and decreases your chances of encountering online threats.