When someone mentions home security, I invariably think of the elderly hermit who lives in our community. No one’s seen him in public for years, and it’s rumored that he’s buried land mines, tiger pits, and booby traps on his property to keep out “the enemy.”
But you don’t have to have PTSD, paranoia, or hate interacting with your neighbors to beef up online security in your home. With a few readily available items, you can increase the security of you and your family — without any technical knowledge.
How to Increase Security on the Internet
One of the most vulnerable aspects of your home is your computer. Popular Internet activities like geotagging a Facebook post or “checking in” at a specific location make it easy for criminals to pin down your location and determine your normal daily routine. Turn off geolocators on your social media profiles, and have your kids do the same.
While parents may monitor their children’s texting habits and online chatting, they may overlook online game chats. Many popular games today include a chat feature that allows your kids to freely connect and communicate with others within the game. Until your kids are responsible enough to limit what is shared online, you’ll need to block games with chat features.
Shopping online is a great convenience, but paying online can be hazardous to your family’s security. One of the easiest ways to shop online without sharing personal info is to set up a PayPal account. You can even purchase PayPal prepaid debit cards in local stores for use during online shopping trips. You decide what info your transactions reveal, such as telephone number, address, or full name.
How to Increase Security in Your Home
Something as simple as upgrading your Wi-Fi router can help you implement tighter security measures at home. LinkSys now has a Smart WiFi router that lets you do more than just connect to the Internet. Download the free LinkSys app and you can log in to your account to set up parental controls at the router point (much harder for the tech-savvy kiddies to work around), view which devices are currently connected to the Internet, and block certain websites like Facebook or YouTube.
When the app notifies you that your teen’s laptop is connected to the Internet at 2 a.m., you don’t even have to get out of bed to put a stop to late night online activities. You can disconnect any device from the router connection directly from your LinkSys account. You can even set up unique parental controls and time limits for each device.
There are multiple apps available that “complement” the Smart WiFi routers, but they’re really not necessary. Most everything you need can be accessed through the free LinkSys App. There’s even a special app to pair wireless cameras with your smartphone. The router can be hardwired into your home’s electrical system and hooked to a hard drive to easily record your cameras’ activities. Want to know what the babysitter’s really up to? Your new router can help you check in without being seen.
Upgrading your router also helps keep your Internet connection secure. There’s nothing worse than paying for gigabyte overage charges when you suspect the extra bandwidth went to a neighbor who managed to access your network.
What DIY security tips do you have for readers?