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The importance of cybersecurity at home and 5 tips to secure your network

  • Jane Marsh 
IOT concept. Smart home connection and control with devices through home network. Internet of things doodles background.

Those working in technology, security and data know protecting critical infrastructure from cybersecurity threats is a non-negotiable aspect of a functioning, modern society. However, the same mentality must apply to households. They are just as vulnerable and deserve protection. What are advanced strategies to deter threat actors and maintain privacy and data integrity?

Why cybersecurity is essential to the home

More people work from home and use an increasing amount of devices in their personal and professional lives. Tech stacks are more complex as apps and smart technologies run lives. Various providers with a mixture of compliance adherence and security strategies control them. These inconsistencies open backdoors and vulnerabilities for cybercriminals.

Protecting the home from hackers guards identities, bank accounts and data. When criminals compromise these spaces, people struggle to stay positive, maintain jobs or keep obligations in order.

Cybersecurity literacy is a requirement for everyone in a tech-laden world producing 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. These techniques expand upon basic recommendations, like using VPNs and two-factor authentication.

1. Use a router cascade

A router cascade is a series of connected routers with different address ranges, where each device may have customized security. The benefit of having more than one router is overseeing traffic management and creating layered defenses, like complex firewall structures. If someone breaches one router, devices connected to the protected second one can disconnect while preserving some assets and isolating the problem.

2. Review connected devices

Most people connect their phones, laptops, tablets and watches to their Wi-Fi and forget about it. Everything automatically connects to make lives easier, so they typically do not consider reviewing what devices and accounts can access the network.

Take inventory of what tech items are necessary to remain connected and provide unique nicknames to identify when something is amiss quickly. Users may also set up notification systems when irregular connection requests occur.

3. Have multiple backups

Regardless of efforts, breaches and data exfiltration may still happen. End users never want to pay ransoms or lose years of work, so having disconnected, immutable storage devices in varied formats is crucial for integrity and resilience. For example, a robust strategy may include multiple external hard drives, a cloud storage solution and a solid-state drive.

Each has its benefits. Stealing external devices requires specific techniques, especially when they are usually offline. In this way, defending the home protects tech assets, Wi-Fi connections and data. Cloud providers may only maintain customer bases with high security standards, so they seek the advice of third-party professionals and internal experts to employ the industry’s best defenses. The only way these remain relevant is by maintaining a backup schedule.

4. Change to a WPA3 Router

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is a security framework, and WPA3 is the most recent rendition as of 2024. Figure out what kind of router is in the home, and ensure it is not a version before this. WPA3 routers improve from older models by:

  • Making passwords harder to decipher.
  • Protecting old data from decryption.
  • Safeguarding systems when connecting smart home devices.
  • Securing open Wi-Fi.

5. Segment networks

Setting up network segments is separate from a router cascade. Network segmentation isolates particular activities and communications to unique connections. Many experience this when connecting to business Wi-Fi, noticing different guest and employee networks. Households may set up individual networks for questionably secure items like IoT devices or direct visitors to a guest connection to maintain integrity over the leading home network.

A well-defended home network

Cyber defenses encompass more than strong passwords and integrated encryption. There are more actions homes must take to deter the increase and severity of digital crimes. The most valuable thing on the planet right now is data, so staying educated and proactive is the top-recommended strategy to keep safe against compromises and breaches.