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Safe and sound – 5 tips to boost your home security

From credit card numbers getting stolen from Target and Home Depot to PlayStation and Xbox servers failing to work on Christmas day, we all need to take a step back and really look at how secure our cyber environments are before we go forward into the next age of technology (I’m looking at you connected cars).

Let’s start with the safest place we know – home. Here’s our top five ways to ensure you’re home is protected.

  • What’s the password? – Password encryption softwares are incredibly handy tools to carry in your arsenal. If you’re like many, you use the same or similar password for everything. Unfortunately, the convenience makes it much easier to get into your accounts. Many of these softwares are out there and come in a range of price and usability, but mainly, these tools will save to your browser as plug-ins. PC Magazine recently rounded up the strongest of the bunch.
  • Prepare to defend – Another software you should invest in is some strong anti-virus. These will not only fend off any incoming viruses, but some will even give you insights into who is attacking and from where. Some people think Apple and Android operating systems don’t get viruses, but that’s just not true. All systems are free game when you have precious information worth getting. Check out Tom’s Guide’s round up of the best products for the price.
  • Build your firewall – You’ve probably heard of it, but how you command your network’s firewall can make or break the castle. Think of it as a wall of soldiers that monitor everything coming in and going out of your network, and acts based on the rules you set in place. Look into your computer’s settings and see if you have any weak soldiers or could do to set a new rule.
  • Know where you’ve been – We all fall victim to the “Remember Me” button, but this extends the security past your own home. When you click that button, you are entrusting the someone else’s security. Be mindful of where you’ve made accounts and what information you have available on them. Personally, I don’t like trusting other people with my information. The little bit of convenience it takes to let a company save my credit card number is not worth the headache it will be if someone else gets it.
  • Disconnect a little – Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply pull the plug. Most recently, Russia considered a plan to unplug the country from the Web if in a state of emergency. Iran and Egypt have also reportedly considered this alternative to keep protected documents from being accessed by the wrong hands.

Where have you found weaknesses in your network?