PC Security: Home Network Security
Network security in the home is really not as difficult
as you may think it is. There are words such as hubs, switches, firewalls,
routers, and such that may confuse you, but what you must realize is that
these words have simple meanings that even the average computer user can
understand. Simply put, if you are smart enough to turn your computer on
and surf the Internet, you are smart enough to secure your home network -
you don't have to be a security expert or even a programmer.
Fortunately for us average users, companies who specialize in computer security
have made it very easy for us to secure our home networks with their products.
We can easily install devices and software ourselves, with simple instructions.
Furthermore, we can easily share files and printers throughout a home without
having wires running all over the place.
Getting the network system set up may be a little difficult, but it can be
done. Once the computers on the network are set up, security is simple, and
starts with understanding some basic terminology.
Start by reading the manual that comes with the device or software. Don't
assume that you will figure it out as you go along, as this is where you
will inevitably run into problems. Read the manual, and look up any word
or acronym that you do not understand.
Next, go into the administrative section of your system. Change the
administrators password and also rename that account to something else -
something that nobody would suspect is an administrator account. Remember
that in war soldiers are often instructed not to address their officers in
a specific way in the event that snippers are nearby.
You should note that Port 80 is the standard port used for browsing on most
systems. This port should be opened, but should only allow your IP addresses
to go out. This way, if a hacker gains access to your system, they will not
be able to access the Internet through your system, because their IP number
will not be the same as yours. If possible, do not obtain your IP number
automatically. Check with your ISP concerning this, and get a static IP number
that does not change.
This is especially important if you have a wireless home network, as people
who are close to you (such as neighbors or someone sitting outside of your
house in their car) can use your wireless network. Port 80 should be open
for all incoming data, so that you can freely surf the Internet.
If possible, use browser based email. If you need a more powerful email client
however, use a localized email client, such as Microsoft Outlook. Email clients
use Port 25 for outgoing mail, and Port 110 for incoming mail.
Try to avoid any other programs that require open ports as much as possible,
such as FTP clients. Ideally, you want as many ports closed as possible at
all times. Ports can be opened and closed through your firewall settings,
but your router may need to also be configured (with the same configurations
as your firewall).
It takes more to secure a wireless network than it does to secure a wired
network. Remember that anyone within a reasonable distance could access your
network. Don't assume that just because you live in what is deemed as a 'safe'
neighborhood that this won't happen. You have no idea what the teenager next
door is doing, and you can't be sure that a hacker isn't sitting in his car
down the road, happily accessing your network to do his evil deeds.
A few hours of reading the manuals, and learning the terminology will take
you a long way in creating a secured home network. Think of this time spent
as protecting your system, your sensitive information, your children, and
PC Security: Index
Stopping Spam Part 1
Stopping Spam Part 2
PC Security: Spam
Email Security and Spam
Protecting Computers From Viruses
Trojan Horse Viruses
Removing a Virus
Cell Phone Viruses
Firewalls Part 1
Firewalls Part 2
Security: Parental Control Software
Malware - Spyware and Adware
Pop Up Windows
Security: Safe Public Computer Use
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