Do you know exactly what your firewall/ security programs on your computer do? While they may seem like that annoying program that blocks games from working at home or applications from working occasionally at work, they provide a very important purpose of keeping your PC safe against the ongoing threat of malicious users. And it’s not just firewalls that provide this, but the security functions of your router also provide extra protection. We will go over the purpose of these devices as well as their functions in this week’s article.
Let’s start with firewalls. The name is a little misleading, as a firewall is more like a filter then a wall. This high-tech filter has a list of programs and ports that are allowed. If you don’t meet the firewalls entrance criteria, you are turned away. Firewalls do require constant updates to constantly update their threat definitions (which is why your firewall always bugs you for those pesky updates). While some people recommend getting third party firewalls, the stock windows firewall works just fine, as long as it is updated when required. There are different types of firewalls, the one on your pc is most likely a packet filtering firewall, while the other you might deal with is a proxy firewall. A proxy firewall establishes a connection to the website prior to you going there, verifying that the site is not malicious. Firewalls are some of the most common and most important of the security tech.
Another huge security tech is, believe it or not, your router! If its properly configured, your router can be a huge roadblock between malicious users and your home (or work) network. The first tip to prevent users from getting into your network is disable WPS (WIFI protected setup). While the title may make it seem like this is a good option, it isn’t. WPS lets users bypass the password over a 8 digit PIN, which is on the underside of your router. Be sure to change the administrative username and password. Most people leave these as factory set, which could be an issue if the malicious user just looks up the default username and password for your router type. Also making sure your router has the most up to date firmware can also help protect you against cyber-attacks. Once your laptop no longer is supported by firmware updates, it is generally recommended to replace your router with a more modern one. Not only does this protect you with security, but it also has the added benefit of giving you better bandwidth and speeds. Having a guest network setup will also help protect your primary network in case of a compromise of the network.
While their importance may seem non-existent, these security devices are pivotal to your online defense. Without them, you risk exposure to malicious sites and users.
If you have any questions about security technology , please give us a call at 509.433.7606 or submit a service request online at http://support.simplepowerit.com/