Top three tips


Here are the top three tips for making your family safer on-line.  They all require some further research to complete the work, however if you register with us, we will share more information with you when we launch.

  1. Change default passwords to strong passwords
  2. Map out how your family connects to the Internet
  3. Low-tech bedrooms

Passwords

Passwords are your primary defence against other people accessing our computers and home network. I know of many people who keep the default password on a device from the day they bought it. This is very risky as hackers know these default passwords and use things like this to find ways into your systems.

As a way of illustrating this, many modems have a default administrator password that is the same as the manufacturers name. For example, refer to this link: http://www.phenoelit-us.org/dpl/dpl.html

Using the default password for a Linksys WRT54G wireless modem and gateway router, adding a few extra numbers, and punctuation marks makes it very difficult to crack.

  • Admin – Very Weak
  • aDm|n_1-2 – Extremely strong

There are a few password meters on the web, but one we like is :http://www.passwordmeter.com/ as it doesn’t require you to post your password to the site to resolve it. By doing this, there is a great changes that the site might actually go about capturing the new fantastic password – so best avoid it.

Map your connections

Essential to understanding any risk is to know where it comes from. This is the only way that you are able to know what to do, and how to counteract the threat. Home network security is no different. By mapping how your devices connect to each other and where they do it is a valuable lesson to learn. To start this process follow the following steps with a blank sheet of paper.

    1. Draw a quarter circle to cover the top left hand corner – if you are using an A4, or foolscap page, then about 3 cm (1 inch) in fro the corner should be fine.
    2. Inside this write “Internet”
    3. Draw your modem, about 3 cm (an inch) from it along the top the top of the page, and connect it to the circle.
    4. On the back of your modem, there may be a number of network ports that connect to other computers, or devices, draw them and the connections to them as well.
    5. Keep going until you have a picture a bit pike what is shown in the picture on the right
    6. Remembering to also add where devices such as smart phones connect directly to the Internet through 3G networks.

Network Diagram

Now you have a picture of your network it is time to start using it.

Taking a red pen, mark all the devices that have firewalls installed on them. If you don’t know, then do a bit of research on the manufacturers product page.

Next, take a Blue pen, and mark all the devices that have administrator passwords with a number that indicates the password. A bit like a legend on a map.

Next (last step), take a green pen, and mark all devices that have anti-spam, or anti-virus software on it.

Where it gets interesting is now to see if any of your devices can connect to the Internet without passing through a device with red, blue, or green on it. If you can, then you are exposed to potentially harmful software attacking your device, and you need to fix that by installing what is missing.  Ideally, every device would not be able to connect directly without one of these barriers in place. If this is not the case, you need to do some more research.

If you need to do more research, then please register and we will keep you up to date with how to do this.

Low-tech bedrooms

We can’t stress enough how important this is. When you realise that on average, teenagers in North America send 33 text messages to their boy/girl friend(s) a night between midnight and 5am, it comes as no surprise that teenagers, who are already tired due to puberty – are also tired due to lack of sleep.

Create a central place for all devices to live overnight in a visible location in the house. It will pay dividends for you in ways you ca not begin to imagine:

  • More even mannered children
  • Better grades
  • Less technology addiction

Check back here soon and we will outline even more benefits to this, and how to go about setting up a low-tech bedroom.

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  1. Sarah Nattey
    October 17 at 11:42 AM

    Great looking site!

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