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Protecting your Personal Network

When working remotely, it is important to remember your home internet security. Some companies offer free security measures provided with certain packages. You may also be offered services through your home security provider for cybersecurity and personal protection. The College even requires that you access your network using a VPN for certain applications when working from home. 

Here are some steps to insure your home wireless network is secure:

Step 1 : Always change the default name of your network when setting up a new service provider. We strongly recommend using a name that is not related to any personal information.

Step 2 : Make sure the password for your network is strong and unique. Never use the same password twice and don’t include any personal information. Some companies recommend a password for your wireless network be at least 20 characters and include numbers, letters, and symbols. At the very least your password should contain no less then 8 characters. These first 2 steps can be completed at the same time when setting up your network, as most come with a default username and password.

Step 3 : Now is the time to activate your network encryption. You may have already noticed when signing on to your network the letters WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA3; these are the encryption languages. You may also receive a warning that your network is not secure or has low security standing. You can login to your network and apply updates to your network encryption, these updates may be free or could come with a fee so read the instructions carefully.

Step 4 : Change the location of your router. Your router should be placed as close to the center of your residence as possible. This will increase the likely hood that every room will share an equal network connection and decrease the likelihood of someone intercepting the signal outside your residence. 

Step 5 : When logging in for updates you may notice that your admin credentials after different from those used to access your network. If you are still using the default admin credentials those should be changed. Most routers have default admin credentials and those are the same for all the routers produced by that provider. This gives a malicious person easy access to your network even without your network password. This password should be unique and at least 8 characters.

Step 6 : Disable remote access to your router. This will require you to log in using the web interface of your router with your admin credentials. These setting can be altered under the privacy settings, but keep in mind if you have issues with your network and call for support they may ask you to turn these settings off.

Step 7 : Always keep your router’s software up to date. This step allows the router to keep functioning at its best. This will require you to sign in with admin credentials on the web interface to download any updates.

Step 8 : Make sure the devices using your network are secure. Every device should have antivirus software installed and functioning. You can also use a VPN to better secure your network, but keep in mind that VPN could affect your network speed and performance, and only use one VPN at a time.

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