Wireless networks have been a huge leap forward in the telecommunications world. While their benefits are large, they do have one big drawback; they are one of the most vulnerable access points into your system. Unfortunately, hackers have discovered numerous ways to steal your personal information via your wireless network. The following methods are ways in which you can ensure that your information remains safe.
Customize Your Network
Many people leave their router in the default mode after they set it up. The first, and arguably most important, tip is to customize your router admin name and password. Be sure to make it complicated (i.e. using letters, numbers, and special characters). Just remember that your default username and password are public, which is why you need to customize it.
Always be sure to install updates. Once firmware becomes outdated, it is a vulnerable point in your wireless network. Given enough time, hackers learn how to outwit firmware, hence the frequent updates. Additionally, updated firmware provides new features and quicker Internet speed.
All routers have a built-in firewall. When setting it up, be sure to activate it. It is also a good idea to install firewall security on your laptops and desktops.
The WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) could leave your network vulnerable to a hack. WPS makes it easier to pair devices to your router. While this is a great convenience, it also permits unwanted guests easier access to your network. If you turn it off, you can have greater control over who has access to your wireless network.
Use a VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) is vital to your wireless network security. VPN’s use a third-party server to protect your information in another layer. It prevents potential hackers from viewing your internet traffic and habits.
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New scams are born every day. For example, according to an FCC report, phone hacking has become a new form of fraud in which hackers break into a company’s voice mail system. Once the hacker has access, they rig it to either accept collect calls or place outgoing calls to international phone numbers. Unfortunately, the hackers usually ring up thousands of dollars worth of bills before they’re caught. Hacking a business’s voicemail isn’t the only way hackers can strike—they can also attack your VoIP network by spoofing VoIP account credentials.
These hackers tend to focus on small to medium sized businesses who tend to take fewer precautions in securing their business telephone system. In a period where everything online is exposed to hackers, it is vital for a company—big or small—to take every safeguard available. Here are a few tips:
- Have a minimum of six digits for your voicemail passcode.
Passwords are your first line of defense against hackers, and yet they are, ironically, often overlooked when it comes to business phone security. Having a six digit password instead of the typical four digits exponentially increases your security. Another safeguard is to not allow passcodes to possess any similarities to the phone number itself.
- Do not allow call forwarding to international numbers.
When a business allows users to deploy call forwarding to international numbers, they are only making it easier for hackers to swarm into the system. To increase your security, switch off default call forwarding and only allow experienced users to deploy it.
- Lock out voicemail after multiple invalid attempts
A hacker’s motto is “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Don’t let them apply this to your phone system.
- Disable default international calling
If an employee happens to need to dial an international number, they should have to get specific approval. Otherwise, erroneous or illicit calls can take place and cost your business money.