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Security Support

Securing Your Home Network

Most homes these days can have dozens of devices connecting to their wi-fi networks, including phones, TVs, computers, game consoles, appliances, and even cars. Keeping your network and devices secure is of utmost importance when you engage in online purchases and banking.

The first step you can take is ensuring that all of your devices are up-to-date. Check your individual device for instructions on updating its software to limit the chances of it being exploited.

The second step is configuring firewall settings on a router, which will monitor your web traffic and block exploit paths that could be vulnerable.

If you use a wireless router, you should make sure you set a password and enable encryption. We do not recommend using an unprotected wireless network. Most routers have either Wireless Encryption (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption options, and some have both. WPA is more secure than WEP. Enabling encryption and choosing a strong router administrator password are two steps that will help keep your network secure.

Securing Your Activities Online

Most attacks against your devices will occur while you're online and browsing. Here's some steps you can take to limit your chances of having a device exploited:

  1. Keep your browsers up-to-date - most browsers will automatically update themselves, but we recommend manually checking for updates as well. Google Chrome will actively warn you if you're visiting a site that is generally known to be unsafe
  2. Keep an active, up-to-date anti-virus - Windows computers typically come pre-installed with Windows Defender or some 3rd party anti-virus, so ensure that it's running and updating routinely
  3. Learn which sites are safe - large, popular sites that show up in search results are typically safe. However, it is not recommended to click on links from unknown or potentially suspicious sources (such as following a link in a Craigslist ad)
  4. Don't open emails or click on links from unknown email addresses - feel free to ignore any emails received from an unknown source. If the source states that it's from a known source (your bank, for example) but provides a link telling you to log in, go directly to the sources website itself or contact the source yourself
  5. Do not click on pop-up ads or any other pages that appear that you did not click on - sometimes additional pages will open with links to unsafe sites
  6. Do not download or install any programs you do not explicitly trust - you will almost never need to download files, but if you do, make sure you're clicking on the correct link

If you'd like more information about anti-virus programs, please follow this link.