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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 your identity.

  PC Security: Index
  PC Security: Internet Browsers
  PC Security: Spam
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 1
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 2
  PC Security: Spam Scams
  PC Security: Email Security and Spam
  PC Security: Email Security
  PC Security: Computer Viruses
  PC Security: Protecting Computers From Viruses
  PC Security: Worm Viruses
  PC Security: Trojan Horse Viruses
  PC Security: Rootkits
  PC Security: Removing a Virus
  PC Security: Virus Hoaxes
  PC Security: Server Viruses
  PC Security: Home Network
  PC Security: Cell Phone Viruses
  PC Security: Spyware
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 1
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 2
  PC Security: Parental Control Software
  PC Security: Malware - Spyware and Adware
  PC Security: Data Backups
  PC Security: Pop Up Windows
  PC Security: Safe Public Computer Use

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