Reliable home security has many components to it, from ensuring you have good locks on your doors, to setting up reliable alarm or CCTV systems. Yet one element of home security often gets forgotten about – that which concerns your home computer network.

With cyberattacks on the rise, it’s never been more important to secure your home network from the risk of malware, spyware and hackers. Fortunately, this is relatively simple and cost-effective to do.

Below we’re going to be covering three key fundamentals that every home-owner should employ in order to ensure their home system remains reliable and secure.

Set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Those wanting to secure their home networks should investigate purchasing a subscription to any number of the leading VPNs, such as NordVPN and Surf Shark. In essence, a VPN hides your IP address by routing web-traffic through an intermediary server located somewhere else in the world.

This is a similar process to de-listing your telephone number – only those who want to know your IP address can access it. VPNs guarantee anonymous browsing online, preventing hackers or malware from identifying your home address from your online presence. VPNs also help minimize trackers and other spyware, reducing the frequency of targeted adverts you’ll see when browsing.

As an added bonus, VPNs can be used to circumvent region-locked content, letting you watch shows that are not available in your region on leading streaming platforms.

Only Access Trusted Websites

One of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure you’re keeping your system secure is to make sure you’re only connecting to, and interacting with, websites you can trust. There are a number of ways you can verify whether a website is likely to pose a security risk or not.

For one, it bodes well if the website and brand you’re visiting is recognized and recommended by leading platforms in the sector that it’s operating in. For example, if you wanted to verify that the likes of Spin Casino, an online gaming platform offering its services in New Zealand, was trustworthy, you could look up a Spin Casino review on a leading comparison platform operating in the sector such as Casino Reviews NZ.

That this reputable platform, which reviews hundreds of gaming providers and ranks them on their feature-sets, customer service and reliability, vouches for the online gaming service in question points to it being both a secure and recommended choice. Likewise, UK nationals seeking car insurance can rest assured that the top ranked choices presented by the likes of Money Supermarket are similarly a safe option.

If, however, you can’t find a leading platform to vouch for the website or brand you’re visiting, you can still check whether it has an SSL certificate. This is a modern encrypted web protocol that certifies that a website is maintaining the highest current security standards.

To be awarded this certificate, websites must be verified by trusted third parties, decreasing the risk of nefarious platforms being granted this certificate. To assess whether the website you’re visiting has SSL or not, simply look at its URL – if it begins with “https://”, it’s secure. If, instead, it begins “http://” you should exercise caution as this means it is not necessarily in compliance with modern web security.

Make Sure Your WiFi Password Is Strong

Every year, Nord, a cybersecurity company that developers software such as VPNs and password vaults, releases a toplist of the most common passwords used online over the previous 12 months. Unsurprisingly, the most common tend to be composed of predictable patterns and obvious keywords, from “123456” to “password1”.

These, and many more common password combinations, can normally be overridden using cracking software in approximately two seconds. As such, one should avoid ever using a simple password, especially when it’s for safeguarding your confidential information.

Your WiFi access password is one such example. While manufacturers often ship with more complex default passwords, it’s still recommended to change this to your own security-hardened alternative.

To do this you can use a strong password generator online. A strong password should have a combination of varying case letters, as well as numbers and symbols. This prevents people from stealing your internet bandwidth for themselves, and what’s more, rules out the possibility of a hacker gaining access to your home network – and with it your files and confidential information.