Home Networking and Wi-Fi

Networking & Wi-Fi

Network Setup & Troubleshooting

home networking and wifi securityIf you have more than a single computer in your home or small office and you’d like them all to be online at the same time, then you need a local area network or Wi-Fi installation. It’s rare these days for computer users not to be somewhat familiar with networking, however all users experience problems that they occasionally need assistnace with, from sharing video, connecting to the internet or even printing from your computer to a network shared printer.

With all the hacking stories in the news, there’s also been a surge in concern over security and privacy. Most home and small business professionals aren’t well versed in best practices and don’t aren’t familiar with regular maintenance requirements of these networks.

A professionally maintained network will provide continuous security against neighbors, competing businesses trying to steal your data or spy on you, as well as eliminated bandwidth congestion, outages and slow-downs. Properly managed cabling helps identify which devices are connected and prevents confusion when troubleshooting and eases network expansion when adding new devices and users.

Small Network Security

Security is not a new problem, but the average home or small business owner has maintained an attitude over the past several decades that they are not a target. Few actually realize that most hackers are committing crimes of opportunity, like a drive-by hacking, they are looking for open networks and easy targets. This is different from spear-phishing where a user is targeting in a pre-meditated fashion. Instead, these drive-by hacks take advantage of wifi passwords that use old encryption or haven’t been changed from their defaults. Most new wifi equipment comes with a password installed that is unique to that device, moving away from the “admin” and “password” defaults that most manufacturer’s of old equipment used, however, even these new unique codes can be predicted by hackers with an average skill level.

Other popular attitudes are that “we have nothing to hide” or “nothing of interest”. That’s not actually true. If you connect to an email system or facebook account, then you are transmitting your username and password over the network, and those could be “scraped” by hackers who later would impersonate you to attack your friends, or even use your computer to commit a crime. Of course that’s also assuming that you don’t do any online banking or shopping where the hackers could glean personal account data and sell it on the black market for a few dollars.

Solutions

Our advice is to have your network and computers reviewed by a professional to ensure that you are protected against the most common attacks and learn from the mistakes of countless others. We don’t suggest going overboard with security, just making sure that the obvious points of attack are covered.

There are some simple practices that every users should adopt that doesn’t require a professional such as changing your wifi password once a month, not using the same password with your accounts, using two-factor authentication when offered by online services, keeping a backup of your data that is not plugged in, and keeping your software patched and always up-to-date.

Phase 3 can help with all of these regular activities with our proactive maintenance plans, plus tracking expiration dates on software and services as well as optimizing the performance of your network and keeping your computers clean of spyware, viruses and ransomware.

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