President Obama’s announcement today of planning to appoint a new head of White House cyber security, should make us think about how secure the networks are in our homes. Obama said, “Cyberspace is real, and so is the risk that comes with it.”
Here are a few quick tips to protect your homes from cyber threats:
1- Make sure you have a router. It does not have to be a wireless router, but you need something between your computer and the wild, wild Internet.
2- Make sure your wireless network is password protected. If you don’t, your will lose more than bandwidth to your neighbors and hackers driving through the neighborhood. You are leaving your computers exposed.
3- Get anti-virus software. No excuses. Avast offers a free home version.
4- Turn on automatic updates for your operating system and install them as they are released.
5- Do not install freeware or any other program off the Internet unless it comes from a company you trust. Never install file-sharing programs. (How can you trust a program that’s made to break the law to start with?) Many of these harvest information off your hard drives for identity thieves.
6- Back up your files, otherwise, you will suffer the “agony of delete”. It just takes a couple minutes a week to throw your My Documents and email folders on a CD or DVD and toss it in a box or drawer somewhere.
Don’t wait for hacker attack that could cost you your identity and your data.