As we all know, cyber security is something of a hot topic at the moment. On the most part, this is because of several high-profile cases that have surrounded big companies.

There is also the point about the industry as a whole. After all, the term was almost unheard of several years ago, but we’ve now reached a stage where some investment companies have been established to specifically invest in cyber security brands.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the big companies who are susceptible to these problems though. On the contrary, smaller ones are as well, but something which might raise more eyebrows is that the Average Joe sat at home is also at risk. Whether you are a gamer or a casual internet browser – you can be a target as well.

This is going to form the subject of today’s article, as we now take a look at three ways you can fine-tune your cyber security when it comes to your home life.

VPNs aren’t just for hiding things

In some regards, VPNs have something of a wretched reputation. They are regarded as something which is just designed to “hide” what you perhaps shouldn’t be looking at!

Of course, for some of you, this might be the case. Privacy is high on the agenda nowadays, and VPNs can certainly help with this.

However, they can also hide your data from prying eyes. In other words, if someone does happen to intercept something that you are passing across, the encryption-factor means that they are unlikely to be able to decipher it.

With so many of us tapping into unsecured networks and public Wi-Fi, this is something that should not be underestimated. Of course, there are now a whole host of different VPNs that have become much more available to the Average Joe. For example, some internet browsers come pre-installed with them (with Opera being one example), while this can even then extend to browser plugins.

The power of 2FA

This next point is something that is relatively new – but it’s also something that can help your plight immensely when it comes to online security.

Two-factor authentication is something that you might see across bank websites, and others which process sensitive information. Over time, the number of sites using it is likely to grow.

In short, rather than just supplying a password, you will also have to provide another piece of personal information to verify your login. It means that there is an extra layer of security and for a lot of cyber criminals, this is just too much to handle.  So install Authy, Google Authenticator or another 2-FA app on your phone and make sure all your important websites are 2-FA enabled for additional security.  Remember SMS to cell phones is not considered secure anymore, it is more secure to have PUSH notifications or TOTP (Time Based One Time Passcode) generated from an app rather than get a text message.

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The position of your router matters

This next suggestion might be one of the stranger ones – but it does play a part. Sure, it certainly shouldn’t top your priorities list when it comes to your home security, but to highlight how much of a target you can become at home it’s worth highlighting.

In short, your Wi-Fi signal can be intercepted fairly easily. In a bid to dissuade hackers from trying to infiltrate yours, one of the best ideas you can do is place the router in the middle of the house. This means, unless they break into your property, it’s going to be really difficult for them to get any sort of signal and wreak havoc from outside the boundaries.

Stay on top of your router’s software

You’ve probably heard the importance of keeping your apps up-to-date, but the same advice also applies to your router. The software deployed on here is absolutely essential and over time, hackers can establish flaws that they can ultimately exploit. In a bid to avoid this, make sure you log in and update this software on a regular basis.

Fortunately, we’re now in an age where some networks can automatically update this software – but if you don’t fall into such a camp make sure you find out just how often yours needs to be patched.

Backups aren’t just for big companies

We’ve heard a lot about data breaches in the news over recent years, and on some occasions customer data spanning back years has been lost into oblivion – and companies have had to pay a price for this.

Well, just because you are a standard user at home, it doesn’t mean to say that you don’t have to take backups. Sure, there’s little point if you don’t have anything to back up, but on the whole you will probably have photos and other personal files that you don’t want to use.

Nowadays, cloud services can help you with this and automatically back things up at defined periods. It means that if the worst does happen, and you are subjected to a cyber-attack, you are somewhat covered.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.