Cyber Security 101

Lesson 5

Protecting your home and mobile devices

Welcome to Lesson 5 in cyber security

In Lesson 4 you learnt good tips for staying safe while using wifi. In this lesson we offer advice on how to protect your home and mobile devices.

If you have a wifi router in your home you need to control who can get onto your network. 

Here are nine things you can do:

1

Secure your computer and other devices with an antivirus. This won’t protect you from the more advanced kinds of cyber attacks, but it’s a start and will protect your devices to a certain extent.

2

Use at least one firewall, either a hardware firewall (on your router) or a software firewall (on your system software). You could use both, but if you’re connecting directly to the Internet, as most people do at home, then enable the firewall on your router. This will prevent hackers from accessing your system and block communications with sources you don’t recognise.

3

Change the default username of your router to something that won’t easily be guessed. Also replace the default password for your router to one that is your own. Why? Because once hackers know the kind of router you have, and the general default username and password for the make, they may be able to hack into your computer network.

4

Most routers have a network encryption feature, but by default it’s turned off. Turn it on.

5

If your router has a guest network option, use it to create a guest password for visiting friends of your teenage kids, Airbnb guests, and anyone else you don’t really know.

6

Keep your router’s software up to date.

7

Be cautious about the websites you visit. A trustworthy website has a padlock symbol and  Secure | https:// before its URL.

8

Use a strong password when prompted to create one, and use two-factor authentication on sites that hold your bank card details and on sites where you store personal documents (e.g. Google docs).

9

Last but not least – and you’ll have heard this before – think twice before clicking on a link inside an email. This is commonly known as phishing and it’s an extremely popular attack method. If the email looks odd, ie if the link or the email address doesn’t look legitimate, it probably isn’t. Rather stay cautious: don’t click on the link, and delete the email or forward it to your administrator.

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In Lesson 6 we’ll look at cyber ethics and how to protect children online.

Note: This content is general advice and should not be construed as paid-for cyber security advice and instruction.

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