INTERNET connection a is must in every household nowadays, the era of the connected world.
It is no longer a fad, or a luxury, being wired at home. It is a necessity for productivity — not only for posting social media updates — specially that the Philippines now has its Telecommuting Act which creates an work-from-home arrangements with employers in the private sector.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte put ink to paper for Republic Act No. 11165 on December 20, 2018, otherwise known as the Telecommuting Act.
R.A. No. 11165 institutionalizes telecommuting, an arrangement where a company personnel performs work from a location apart from the office using telecommunications and other computer technologies and being recognized as a legitimate work setup.
It an employee does work at home, so much so is the need not just for a good connection, but a great internet connectivity.
Thus, if a household decides to change its provider, or have an internet connection installed in one’s apartment, there are risks involved. It is not as easy as calling an installer and things will turn out perfect.
Things do not work that way, more so in the digital world.
So, the household may need to make sure the installation is really the best if not perfect.
To help in this regard, Kaspersky Lab has sent out five questions that a household may ask its internet installer.
Five questions to ask your Internet installer, and not just waiting for the installer to finish the job.
Kaspersky Lab said the installation time can be turned “to your advantage and ask a few questions to help you figure out how to manage your home network and achieve a secure connection.”
It can be recalled that the global Russian cybersecurity company has earlier shared general tips on how to protect home networks, adding many details vary from one provider to the next and one router model to the next.
To this aim, Kaspersky Lab is offering five recommendations on what a household may ask directly to someone who knows a thing or two about the household’s specific connection.
Here are the recommendations: 1. What should I do if my Internet service gets disconnected?
If you suddenly go offline, the easiest thing to do is to call tech support. But you probably want to avoid listening to the “your call is very important to us” chant for 20 minutes at a time, especially when the first thing the call center people will do is suggest a few actions that require no professional assistance to accomplish, and which you can learn just as well from the installer who is connecting you this very minute.
Most of the time, completing the basic steps by yourself will get you reconnected. But even if it doesn’t, at least you will know that your call time has not been spent for nothing.
2. How do I make my Wi-Fi inaccessible to outsiders?
Wi-Fi uses radio waves that cannot be contained by walls, so your network will be visible not just to the gadgets in your own home, but also to anyone within a few dozen meters of the router, including in any shared rooms or adjacent floors. Even if you have an unlimited plan and don’t mind sharing traffic, remember that people can use your network to compromise the devices connected to it.
So if your neighbor’s child downloads some malware while using your Wi-Fi connection, the infection may hit not just his own PC, but also your router, computer, smartphone, and everything else on your network. And if that kid happens to be an aspiring cybercriminal, he may even get hold of your files, browse your personal photos, or delete some important documents.
A shady neighbor may use your Wi-Fi network (and your IP address) to watch illegal porn or download extremist materials — which at the very least could lead to a difficult conversation with a law enforcement officer. The bottom line is, there’s a bunch of very good reasons to secure your line so that as few outsiders as possible can use your Wi-Fi.
3. How do I change my network credentials and router password?
In many cases, your initial network login and password are generated by the provider either before or during setup. These often are either the same for all users or follow a simple enough algorithm: for example, your apartment number for your login and your phone number for your password. In such cases, anyone can easily fit a key to your network — from your free-Internet-loving neighbor to an inveterate criminal. And though the former may not cause much damage, the latter can steal everything you transmit over Wi-Fi, such as your credit card details.
Your router has a password of its own, too. If you know it, you can reconfigure and control the device. This password is set up at the factory, and many manufacturers provide only a few passwords for an entire production batch. Criminal-minded individuals will easily learn them, crack your router, and turn it into a zombie bot, or, again, use it to intercept data.
The best policy would be to change all default passwords the moment you have the opportunity. If you have trouble remembering new combinations, try a password manager to help you out.
4. How do I update router firmware?
A router is much like a computer in some ways. It has an operating system, too, albeit rather a special one. It is called firmware.
Sooner or later, every piece of firmware will exhibit vulnerabilities that can be used to hack the device. Experts often identify them before they can be used by criminals. After that, router manufacturers release firmware updates to patch the holes. If you neglect these updates, you enable criminals to make your LAN their playground, even if you use the most reliable of passwords to protect it.
So, ask your installer how to update the router firmware. If your router gets so old that no firmware updates are released anymore, you might want to replace it. If hacked, the obsolete device could cost you a pretty penny in damages.
5. Does my Wi-Fi use WPA or WEP? And how do I make sure it is WPA2?
WEP, WPA, and WPA2 are the security standards for Wi-Fi connections: WEP is the oldest and least reliable, WPA is newer, and WPA2 is even more recent and more robust. If your network uses WEP, you have a problem, because it is very easy to crack. It is best to replace it with WPA2. Ask your installer where and how to change the setting.
One last thing: Do not rely on your memory alone! Things you don’t use every day are easily forgotten. Write down or otherwise record your installer’s instructions, and photograph the right settings and wiring configurations. And do share tips and photos with your loved ones if you feel that the advice you get from the pro is not enough on how to make your local network more secure. (EKU)
About Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for over 20 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at http://www.kaspersky.com