The Privacy of a Home Network
As an information technology student, and taken multiple computer related courses, I have spent many hours learning about advancing technology. This would not be the first encounter with computer related content, as a high school student I spend two years in the computer repair and networking tech courses. I received multiple certifications such as Cisco and CompTIA.
The background from my education led me the concept of how secure is our home network. So many people spend hours upon hours of time sending and receiving information that is far more private than they anticipate. Not many of these people realize that if certain steps are taken the information flow is not secure.
When an internet provider sends out their router for new subscribers to install, they don’t advertise that extra steps should be taken beyond that of the password. The stock network name can and should be changed. The stock network name gives more information about your network than most can anticipate. The network name will generally have the devices type and even more dangerous the type.
With a simple Google search with the device type even the most novice user can find what the router uses in term of security algorithms. The older the modal the modem is will have a more simplistic passphrase algorithm.
All routers like hardware require firmware to function. The firmware is designed in positive case to make the two-different device communicate and add additional security. With the modem modal type, some can alter the firmware and install it on the modem without ever touching it.
The new firmware can allow access to any user or have additional effects. Some malicious activities could simply just restrict the bandwidth speed and make the internet frustratingly slow.
Adding simple steps, the for even the most basic ease is relatively easy. Changing network name, password, or adding an additional layer such as a switch will make accessing the network unauthorized very difficult.
Now comes the question, why should I care? Unless you have already taken steps to secure your network or never connected to your home network you might not care. But, most Americans have a network at home that is used for banking, school, work or many other things. What happens if someone is monitoring the information that you are sending? Some of that information is secure through secure websites, but not all of it.
If you use a password for more than one website then you are at risk. Not every website that has login information is secure and that password can now be in the hands of a someone who can gain access to your banking information.
Anyone that takes the time to lock their doors and windows to stop intruders from gaining access to their home should take the time to protect the information that is flowing in and out.