A home with all doors closed, the key to cybersecurity
In just a few years, technology has advanced in such a way that today we can do practically everything without leaving home. Thanks to the Internet we have everything at hand, literally. Our finger is the only one that separates us from clicking "Buy", "Download", "Tweet", "Send", etc.
It is no longer necessary to go to the cinema to see the latest releases; nor go to physical stores to buy any product we want to buy. We can even do the supermarket shopping remotely.
But what if instead of buying shoes or downloading a game, we were actually handing over our bank details to a criminal? It is totally possible, and we would not even notice it.
This is how some cybercriminals act. There are multiple risks and dangers on the Internet. And all of them take advantage of the ignorance or carelessness of the users, whose information they can get a good slice of.
A click in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause great harm not only to large organizations but also to people. And it is that in our daily life we carry out a series of simple and daily activities that can represent a very high risk for our safety.
We get home and normally the first thing we do is turn on the router (if we ever turn it off). We connect our smartphone or our device to the wifi network of our home and we are ready to navigate. And your neighbor knows all of this.
Wait, how is my neighbor going to know that I am connected to the Internet? In reality, it's very easy. In fact, they may have used your wifi on more than one occasion. If your browsing speed has ever been particularly slow despite having very high bandwidth, it could be due to precisely this: someone is accessing the Internet from your network.
Despite the fact that public Wi-Fi connections are the ones that receive the most cyberattacks, home networks are not exempt from this danger, since they can be easily accessible.
The problem? The passwords
To avoid that unauthorized users can connect wirelessly to our router, steal our Internet connection and even access the rest of the computers on our local network, these are usually protected with a password so that, without it, access cannot be possible.
However, these passwords are often weak and easy to hack. In fact, if we check our router we will surely find one of these 3:
- admin / admin
The solution? Change Password
Once they have accessed our router, hackers have complete freedom to change the wifi password and prevent access to us and any device we use.
To avoid this, we must change the default access password of the Wi-Fi network provided by the Internet provider. These passwords are configured with an algorithm that is available to anyone. So simply by reading a tutorial on the Internet, we might be able to misuse that information ourselves.
Therefore, we must assign a password that complies with all security measures :
- Contain lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and letters.
- Do not use birth dates, pet names, favorite foods, and other easily guessable items.
Another of the most important steps to protect your home network is to activate the network's Wi-Fi Protected Access Protocol (WPA) . WPA is nothing more than an industry standard that ensures that when connected to a router, external individuals cannot analyze traffic and obtain information. Although you will have to check the router manual to activate this protocol, the most current routers have a configuration that allows you to activate wireless encryption at the touch of a button.
It is important to note that wireless encryption only protects us against hackers who try to view our Internet traffic. When we connect to a secure wireless network, we are still exposed to malware, spam, and other harmful cyber threats.
What other methods are there to protect our devices?
We must be careful with what we publish on our social networks. They store large amounts of information about the activities we carry out, the places we visit, the people we interact with, our hobbies, the food we like, etc.
All this information can be used by an attacker to know our profile and thus be able to plan and launch personalized attacks such as the phishing that we have previously mentioned. Furthermore, the information collected can even be used for kidnapping or extortion.
How to know which application is safe?
In mobile technology, most messaging services such as WhatsApp, for example, offer an encryption system in all our conversations. This means that only we and the person with whom we communicate can read the messages, preventing access to third parties.
In fact, and although the cybercriminal could get hold of the shared information, he would only see codes that are impossible to crack.
When browsing the Internet, it is recommended to do it on those websites where HTTPS is placed in the address bar, which also gives the user extra encryption. When the URL of a website begins with https: //, your computer is connected to a page that is speaking to you in a coded language, which is invader-proof and more secure. And we must navigate this type of website especially when we make online purchases, as long as they are linked to recognized electronic payment gateways such as Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, among others.
Firewalls or firewalls
An additional tool to protect ourselves against Internet threats is the use of a firewall. A firewall or firewall is simply a security tool that controls which applications have access to the Internet and which connections are allowed to access our equipment. Firewalls are usually programmed to recognize threats automatically, which means that they are generally easy to use and do not interfere with the way we use the computer.
VPNs or private virtual networks
Another very good measure is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network or virtual private network), a network technology that allows you to create a local network (LAN) even if you are browsing remotely and need to pass the information through a public network. That is, the VPN creates a kind of tunnel and prevents anyone from being able to catch and use that information.
In this way, we ensure that everything that comes out of our devices is encrypted until it reaches the recipient of the message. This can prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, a type of threat in which the cybercriminal acquires the ability to divert or control communications between the two parties.
And of course have an antivirus. It is essential to keep our operating system updated and use the best antivirus that alerts us and protects us against possible threats. It is also important that you run regularly to check for and remove malware, as well as perform automatic updates.
If we are hesitating to buy an antivirus license or get one for free, we must bear in mind that although many of the free software are of high quality and offer a reasonable level of security for home users, they do not always offer the same level. of protection.
The best option would be to consult with an expert, and if possible, choose an antivirus that has technical support to help us with the configuration.
Mistrust is the best attitude
The best option is not to innocently trust the first thing that reaches our email inbox, in that link that offers us a free product, in that user who wants to add us to a social network and that we do not know, etc.
We must think twice before taking any of those actions: if something is too good to be true, then it is very likely to be fraudulent or harmful.
It is always recommended to use spam filters that help block bulk emails that may contain malware.
We must be careful if someone, even a well-intentioned friend or a family member, gives us a USB or removable disk to insert into our computers. You could have hidden malware in it without even knowing it. For this reason, it is essential to scan with an antivirus each element that we introduce on our devices or download from the web.
Last, but not least, we must get used to making regular backups (or backups) of our device to minimize data loss.
Everything stays at home, doesn't it?
Devices such as a smartphone, a tablet, a smart TV; smart appliances like fridges or ovens; or even thermostats, blinds, doors, and lights controlled from your own phone. This is the Internet of Things (IoT).
Currently, all these devices connect to each other through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or infrared connections and communicate with a central control that is usually located at the same address or on the manufacturer's own central server.
The trend is that there are more and more devices than people in each house. And these play an increasingly important role in domestic life.
However, the IoT represents a difficult challenge for security. The sensors of all Internet of Things devices collect data about us: they know what television programs we watch, they can know what you are saying in a room, they know what time we arrive at our house, etc.
And is that, as the number of networks, operators, consumers and devices increases, the risk of a violation also increases.
There is more to see one of the scenes from the Mr. Robot series, in which the network of a house is hacked, altering the behavior of all the devices in it.