What the Tutorial Teaches
The tutorial provides directions on how to secure your home network router. In this case, they are describing how to secure the Linksys network router. Using the default IP address on the router, you can access the home page of the router to be able to change the default settings. The first thing is to change the default password. The wireless network is secured by turning off broadcast option. This will prevent people from finding your wireless network upon Google search. Consequently, change the security mode to WPA2 personal. This is recommended since it allows text passwords that are long.
How Good the Tutorial is
The tutorial provides a simplistic approach to understanding the security set up process in a Linksys router. In addition, the tutorial gives descriptions of some of the terms the normal user might find hard to understand. Moreover, the tutorial gives some tips on how to prevent forgetting your passwords. For example, for a long password, one can simply save it as a text document on your hard drive you forget.
Who Might Find the Tutorial Useful?
This tutorial is useful in large families where there are elderly people and young children where there is a home network.
Safeguarding your Home Network
Several methods can be employed to safeguard a home network. These methods include the use of firewalls, securing your wireless network, use of antivirus protection, constantly updating software, locking out spyware and adware, creating strong passwords and backing up files.
Use of firewalls
According to Doherty and Anderson (2006), the use of firewall restricts unauthorized access by unwanted visitors to your home network. Firewalls will protect the home network by continuously monitoring the broadband connection and will only allow genuine traffic to access your network. A common example of a firewall type used is the stateful packet inspection (SPI) firewalls. The SPI firewall will only allow access to a website as long as the home network has made a request (Max, 2006). If the request comes from the outside or a hacker, the SPI firewall will block its access since there was no initial request from the home computer. The use of SPI firewall increases the level of security in a home network. Another example of a firewall to use is the personal software firewall (Doherty and Anderson, 2006). This firewall software acts as a barrier to any information from your computer that may go to the internet.
The firewall is placed between the home network and the internet. This is achieved by installing the firewall device between the broadband cable and the home network router. This could also be achieved by turning on the SPI firewall located in the router. For the personal firewall software, this can be obtained from the installed operating system such as windows 7. You should ensure that the firewall settings in your operating system are active. Additionally you can install ZoneAlarm software, which can be customized to select the programs that will have access to your computer.
Securing your Wireless Network
Waring (2007) suggests that the use of the Wireless Protected Access (WPA) protocol and the WPA2 protocol are more effective in securing your wireless network than the WEP (wireless encryption protocol). The advantage in using the wireless protected access protocols is that it is impossible to crack it since the keys used change dynamically. National Security Agency (2011) advises people to use strong passwords on all their network devices at home.
Administration limited to the Internal Network Only
According to the National Security Agency (2011), administration of the home networking devices should be done from the internal-facing network. In addition, remote administration should be disabled to reduce unauthorized access by a hacker. Consequently, one can use an alternate DNS provider such as a commercial or an open source DNS server. This is because the DNS provide by the ISP does not provide security services. Additionally, it is advisable to access your office network via a virtual private network (VPN) when connecting to your employer’s network from home. Walker (2006) recommends setting up passwords for your home network router.
Use of Antivirus Software
Computers on a home network should be fully installed with antivirus software. In addition, it is advisable to keep updating the antivirus program to ensure that the antivirus is up to date with the different virus definitions. The computer should be turned off if not in use. Further, the Ethernet interface should be disconnected when not in use.
It is also advisable to back up crucial data regularly and store them away from the computer. Moreover, for security purposes, it is recommended to create a boot disk in situations where there is a security breach or a hard disk failure.
Doherty, J. & Anderson, N. (2007). Home Network Security Simplified. Indianapolis: Cisco Systems.
Max (2006). How Firewalls Work. Retrieved from http://www.bestsecuritytips.com/xfsection+article.articleid+2.htm
National Security Agency (2011). Best Practices for Keeping Your Home Network Secure.
Retrieved from http://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/factsheets/Best_Practices_Datasheets.pdf
Walker, A. (2006). Home Network Router Security Secrets. Retrieved from http://www.ciscopress.com/articles/article.asp?p=461084&seqNum=2
Waring, B. (2007). How to Secure Your Wireless Network. http://www.pcworld.com/article/130330/how_to_secure_your_wireless_network.html