Everyone Needs Good Simple Network Security

computer securityIn most cases, small businesses and home computer users pay little attention to computer network security until it is too late. The truth is, you don’t need a degree to make a network secure but you can’t ignore the issue either. Here’s a few good basic practices to make your home or office network safe.

Get a Good Firewall

A firewall is an electronic barrier between the traffic of the Internet and the traffic of a local network. Think of it as a door with a lock and key. Just the way that only certain people have a key to your door, only certain kinds of Internet traffic is allowed into a local network.  A firewall sets up the rules for what is allowed in and what should be kept out. Good firewalls are like an insurance policy.  They cost more and if they work right, they are unnoticed. If they work wrong, you are at risk.

Basic Network Diagram

This is the basic layout of most every network, showing the major components.

Have a Defense against E-Mail Spam and Viruses

There are way too many “bad actors” on the Internet. It is very important not to ignore this basic form of protection. Almost all computers come with an “Anti Virus” program. In most cases it is a commercially available program that expires after some period of time. Too often the program is not renewed and the machine is vulnerable to attack from virus programs sent via spam mail, or virus programs that are inadvertently downloaded while browsing the Internet. It is very important to be protected against this kind of threat.  There are commercially available programs, free programs, and built in features to firewalls that provide protection.

Make Sure the Machines are Updated

Every single device on a network has some kind of software that makes it work.  Even printers and firewalls have software in them that controls what they do.  These programs need to be updated from time to time as the manufacturers fix problems.  The computers run programs that need to be updated.  The operating system that makes the machine go needs attention, as well as any other protection software like anti virus software.  This needs to be done once a month or more.

Update User Passwords and make them Complex

The passwords for the network should be hard to guess, and updated on a regular basis.  If a password has eight characters, a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers, plus a “special character” like a !@#$%*[{}]<>? then the chances of it being guessed or “cracked” is very unlikely.

These are just a few of the most basic things that can be done to protect a network.  All of them are important and we can help you with all of them.  Please contact us or call us on (201) 796-7967 for a free assessment of your computer network and equipment.