When many people think of a computer network, they envision servers and countless wires. These are typically used in businesses for various reasons.
While these are notable examples of a network, they’re not the only ones. A computer network refers to any system of devices hooked up to a computer.
Your wifi router could be considered an example of this. Everyone has something like this. You mightn’t have realized that you need to keep this safe, although you mightn’t know how to keep your computer network safe.
Regardless of what kind of network you have – or its size – there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Doing so can be more important than you’d think.
Why Keep Your Computer Network Secure?
You might wonder why you need to keep your computer network secure, especially if it’s a home network. You could think that it wouldn’t be worth the effort. That isn’t the case.
There are more than a few reasons to keep your computer network secure. One of the most obvious is that your computer and its associated network could become infested.
On top of this are a few other reasons, including:
- Your Information Is At Risk: Should your network become compromised, your information is at risk. Hackers can use this to commit fraud and similar acts. That could result in you losing a significant amount of money.
- You Could Pass It On: Once your network is compromised, you run the risk of passing it on to your friends, family, and even coworkers. Alongside having repercussions for them, that risks embarrassing you.
- Your Computer Could Be Out Of Business: Ransomware is a big deal. If your computer is infected, it’ll be out of business until you pay a ransom. That could be larger than you can afford, despite how vital your computer and its files may be.
Looking after your network can be vital. To do so, you’ll need to know how to keep your computer network secure. That doesn’t need to be as overwhelming as you might first assume.
It could also offer multiple benefits, including:
- Preventing Fraud.
- Keeping Your Network Safe.
- Ensuring Your Business Is Legally Compliant.
These are more than enough of a reason to protect your computer network. Figuring out how to do this doesn’t need to be difficult. Keeping a few specific steps in mind is crucial to this process.
How To Keep Your Computer Network Secure: 8 Steps You Need To Take
Install The Right Protection
You’ll need to have various pieces of software installed on your computer to protect your network. Knowing what you should have can be complicated, however.
Many people would have the basics of a firewall. You’ll need to have more than this, however. Having the likes of a vulnerability scanner and more is recommended.
In taking a comprehensive approach – especially with a business computer network – is recommended. The more protection you have installed, the better.
When you’re taking this approach, make sure that all of the software you install is compatible with your system. While this could take a while to set up, it’ll be worth the effort.
Use Advanced Endpoint Detection
Advanced endpoint detection uses artificial intelligence to detect any threats to your system and responds accordingly. It automates much of the protection you’ll have.
The technology brings in information from all of your devices and analyzes them continually. As a result, you can rest assured that everything is being looked after.
While you’ll still need to provide some oversight to this, it shouldn’t need as much effort as you’d think. It’s recommended that you take this approach in conjunction with the above.
By having them linked, you can ensure that all software responds when it needs to and in a way deemed appropriate. That could automatically protect your computer network without much work from your end.
Update Passwords Regularly
Passwords are the easiest ways for hackers to get your financial information. Many people don’t put enough effort into creating a secure one. They also don’t update it as much as they should.
You’ll need to be as careful as possible with your passwords. Updating them at least every three months is recommended. When you’re doing so, make sure you avoid choosing anything obvious.
Having a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols is also vital. You should also look at it as more of a passphrase rather than a password. Something complicated that only you can remember is recommended.
Filter & Delete Spam
Everyone’s heard of spam before and the average computer user is smart enough to not fall for the typical phishing campaign. These types of attacks are getting smarter and smarter, however, making them easier to fall for.
These campaigns feature enticements to click on a link. Once you do, malware or similar software is installed on your computer. You’ll need to have a high-quality email filter to ensure you don’t fall for this.
Deleting them from your spam folder is also essential. It’s possible that the occasional spam email can still get through, however.
You should be on the lookout for these. Be wary of anything that requests your financial information. If unsure, don’t click on any links.
Encryption should be a standard, especially for businesses. You’ll need to ensure nobody can access your files without permission. Encryption is one of the most effective ways of doing so.
You can use software to take care of this, with most options being quite affordable. Some of the protection mentioned above can be helpful with this.
You’ll need to ensure that your data and files are properly encrypted, however. In doing so, you’ll ensure that hackers aren’t able to read your data. If somehow, they’re able to access this data, it won’t be readable to them.
It serves as somewhat of a final layer of protection for your information.
Turn Off Computers When They’re Not Used
When’s the last time you turned off your computer? If you’re not doing this regularly, then you could be making a significant mistake. That’s especially true if it’s left idling overnight.
You might assume that putting your computer into sleep mode is an efficient way of using it, especially with a work computer. That isn’t the case. Instead, you’re leaving it connected to the internet for hours on end without any oversight.
It could become visible to hackers during this time. If so, hackers could obtain untethered access to your computer. When left idling overnight, that gives them plenty of time to cause a lot of damage.
They could gain access to personal information and get away without you even knowing. By keeping your computer turned off when it’s not in use, you prevent this from happening.
Get A VPN
Virtual private networks (VPNs) act as a middleman between your computer and the internet. They’re an extra barrier of protection that could come in vital.
While these typically focus on protecting your computer, they can be applied to the network itself. If you’re using your computer on the road, then they’ll secure your connection when hotspotting or using public networks.
It’s something you should install to ensure all of the data that goes through your computer is protected. Using it by default is recommended, especially when you’re traveling.
With one of these installed, you dramatically cut down on the chances of a hacker getting into your network. You also wouldn’t need to worry about slowing down your computer or internet connection.
Ask For Help
Not everybody has the expertise to look after their computer network. That’s especially true when it comes to keeping up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity threats.
Sometimes, it’s worth asking for help. While this mightn’t exactly apply to home computer networks – unless you work from home – it certainly applies to business networks.
Having at least one member of staff dedicated to IT is recommended. If that’s not possible, then outsourcing it to a third party is essential. Doing so will have multiple advantages.
The most notable is that they can take care of all of the above and more. You wouldn’t have to worry about your network’s security.
Even if you’re using a home network, it could be worth having a specialist come in and set things up for you.
How To Keep Your Computer Network Secure: Wrapping Up
Figuring out how to keep your computer network security can be complicated. There’ll be multiple components to look after, many of which can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Keeping the above in mind will help you look after this. Doing so can be vital to protect your information, as highlighted above. You’ll need to take a coordinated approach with this.
That means spending time and effort protecting your computer network from the start. You’ll also need to spend time maintaining this and ensuring that everything works appropriately.
That shouldn’t take as much effort as you’d first think. Instead, it’ll be much simpler than expected.
There shouldn’t be anything preventing you from looking after your computer network.