How to make your Internet connection safer

The Internet has enabled a lot of good to happen in the world but by that same token it has also facilitated those with less honorable motives. Certainly the Internet has become more secure since those early Wild West days, though you still need to make sure your Internet connection is safe. Technical Framework’s Fort Collins & Greeley IT support and consulting team is often asked what can be done to secure an Internet connection. Here are three pieces of advice we give:

Make sure you have an adequate firewall.

A firewall can protect your computer from one of the most common threats on the Internet: the worm. Worms replicate themselves by spamming information at other computers looking for a security flaw they can take advantage of. Once they have found a flaw, they inject themselves into the computer without the user even knowing. Often the aim is to enslave computers into a botnet, or series of computers the hacker can use for their own malign purposes.

A good firewall can limit the risk that your computer will become infected. Acting as a barrier, it filters unwanted internet traffic and prevents most attempts to inject malicious code into your computer. While Windows comes with a firewall, it is recommended you also use a third party one to provide greater security.

Get network monitoring software.

These days most homes have a number of Internet capable devices on the same network, from computers to smart phones, and Xboxes to TVs. With the profusion of devices on the network, it can be difficult to work out if there is one that shouldn’t be connected. Network monitoring software will alert you to any unauthorized device trying to connect. With most network monitoring software you can designate trusted devices, ensuring they can connect with ease. This is essentially the same as monitoring the MAC addresses that show up when you log into your router, but it is far easier to use and you are able to get alerts automatically.

Try to crack your own WiFi password.

You may think because you have a secure wireless connection that your network is safe, but unfortunately many encryptions are relatively easy to break. You should try to test your security using Aircrack, which is one of the most popular cracking tools, and is able to break both WEP and WPA encryptions. If you are able to crack your WiFi password using Aircrack then anyone can. You need to make sure you are using WPA2-Personal with AES or TKIP encryption. You should also be using a password that includes upper and lower case letters as well as numerals.

The aim is to ensure none of your sensitive information makes it into the wrong hands. If you have any security questions about keeping your data safe and secure, ask our Fort Collins & Greeley IT support and consulting team.