Do you know how much time you spend online? It might be more than you think. Sources claimAmericans spent more than five hours per day last year on their PCs, laptops, smartphones and other connected devices. And much of that activity happens when you’re inside, plugged into the home network. There’s just one problem: the bad guys know this, and they’re coming after your data and devices.

So how do we keep our most precious personal data and connected devices safe from harm? UNETEC has been protecting consumers for over 10+ years, so let’s take a look at some key steps to stay secure.

What’s at stake?

More and more of our lives are lived in the digital world. But this means that things we once kept physically close to us, under lock and key, are now exposed to cybercriminals. Just think about your most precious photos, or your bank account details – they’re all accessible online now, and that puts them at risk.

Financial and other personal information is a valuable commodity on the cyber underground. And hackers are increasingly attacking home machines with ransomware – which will lock you out of your PC until you pay up.

Not just that, but more and more of us have connected devices to help around the home. These could be anything from baby monitors to home security cameras, wireless printers to smart TVs. The cybercriminals are increasingly looking to hack these devices too, so they can remotely take them over to launch cyber-attacks against the very fabric of the internet. The result can be devastating outages like the one that took Twitter, Netflix, Spotify and more offline recently.

Your cyber front door

The answer lies in blocking all the avenues that cybercriminals could use to attack your data and devices. This means backing-up data regularly, ensuring all of your internet-connected devices are up-to-date with the latest software versions and where possible, have anti-malware installed from a reputable vendor like Trend Micro.

But it also means locking and bolting your cyber front door – the home router. This is the gateway to the internet for all your home devices, but equally it could be the route hackers take to attack your devices. So just as you wouldn’t leave your real front door unlocked, neither should you take any chances with safety on the router.

Unfortunately, that’s what many consumers are doing. A recent study found nearly half (46%) of global users fail to take any steps to protect their home router.

How do I keep hackers out?

To prevent hackers using your home wireless network to commit cybercrimes, make it harder for them to get through that cyber ‘front door’ with the following:

  • Change the router name so it can’t be easily guessed by a hacker
  • Change the default router password to a longer, harder-to-guess combination
  • Regularly check for and apply router firmware updates
  • Upgrade from WEP to WPA2, or WPA, which are more secure router settings
  • Close all firewall ports
  • Create a new password for separate guest network
  • Disable UPnP

What if I’ve been infected?

If this worst has happened and your online accounts have been hacked or you’ve been locked out of your computer, consider the following:

  • Change the passwords on all online accounts you think have been hacked and any others you reused the same passwords on. If in doubt, change them ASAP.
  • Contact the police if you suspect identity theft
  • Call the UNETEC HOTLINE for FREE tech support at 1-877-607-8638