Secure Your Home Network like a Pro (Part 1)

(Writer’s Note: This is the first in a series of four articles on improving home computer security.)
So you’ve got a computer at home and high-speed internet. Your computer vendor “thoughtfully” provided you with a lot of productivity and media software (junk) and probably a six-month subscription to McAfee or Norton. Your ISP was probably thoughtful enough to provide you an Internet security suite from one of those vendors as well. So you choose one and renew it for $60 a year. It’s the price of being safe on the Internet, right?

Wrong.

Internet security suites do protect your computer, mostly. If you get malware through your browser though, it can turn off your security software before the real-time security scan can do anything about it. Worse, if you don’t have a broadband router, it will turn off your firewall and open up your computer to additional attacks. Fortunately, there’s a cheaper and safer way to secure your computer. The “downside” is that you’ll have to learn a little about security and take charge of your computer. But there are a lot of good reasons to change your security habits:

• Malware can take over your computer, rendering it inoperable
• Malware can search your computer for personal information, such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account information and send it back to identity thieves
• Malware can encrypt your hard drive and force you to pay a criminal to get your data back
• Malware can use your computer to send out spam, host phishing sites, or participate in a denial-of-service attack on businesses as leverage in extortion scams
• Malware is often impractical or impossible to clean up

So even if you aren’t worried about what criminals find on your hard drive, they can still use your computer to ruin other people’s lives – and even the best AV packages may not be able to stop them until several days after the malware payload is discovered. Go to text spy

The first step to responsible computer ownership is to get a broadband router if you don’t have one already. Your ISP will provide you with a broadband modem, but these are not the same thing. (Your ISP may provide you with a router, but you have to pay extra for it.) To check, go to where your broadband modem is, and look at the cables on the back; there should be one for power and one other cable, either USB or a network cable (that looks like a phone cord). If the second cable goes directly into your computer, then you need to buy a cable/DSL router.

Go to your local Best Buy or Circuit City and get a Netgear wireless router and two Ethernet cables (sometimes called Cat5 or Cat6 cables). If you are not comfortable setting up the router yourself, then have someone knowledgeable set it up for you. Follow the instructions in the manual for setting up your router, CHANGE THE SETUP PASSWORD, and then find the section on setting up wireless networking. Turn off wireless access according to the instructions in the manual (usually, by un-checking “Enable Wireless Access Point” in the “Wireless” section of the router’s web setup page). You need visit this link best text spy app android

You really shouldn’t enable wireless access until you understand how to secure it. I’ll be covering that in the future, but a good place to start is here: [ http://www.practicallynetworked.com/support/wireless_secure.htm ]. Not every method listed there will stop a determined intruder, but in combination they will elevate your wireless security to a point where most intruders will probably pick an easier target. Read the full report text spy with MxSpy

Now that your router is set up, you have firewall protection like the kind your internet security suite provides with three differences:

1. Your router’s firewall is separate from your computer and malware has a much harder time disabling it (though possible, the likelihood is very remote).
2. Your router will protect any PC that you plug into it – your security suite requires a separate license for each computer.
3. Your router does not block programs from accessing the Internet, but that’s OK because you are going to take control of your computer (part 3 of this article).

Your home network is a lot more secure now than when we started. Now it’s time to move on to Secure Your Home Network like a Pro – Part 2, where you’ll learn how to lock down a home computer and save $60 per system per year on anti-virus subscriptions.