Technology has made it easier than ever for us to work from home. This has increased the need for a lot of people to work on and access more sensitive data than ever before while at home.
As remote work has taken off, it’s become clear that it has its own unique set of challenges, including network security. Without a corporate network’s protection, home Wi-Fi connections may put your personal information at risk.
A home network has the same likelihood that it can be hacked as a business network. Hackers can compromise your router, computer, or another network device, and gain access to sensitive information. They can also install malicious software on your computer, which may be used to steal personal information or take control of your system.
While working from home has its upsides, it also creates new problems and challenges. In this post, I’ll address those challenges, how to spot them, and how to protect your data.
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Can A Home Network Be Hacked?
A home network can be hacked. It is possible to take control of your router, the gateway to your home network, to gain access to all the computers connected to it, and use those computers for malicious purposes.
There are a few ways that this can happen. The first way is by directly taking over the router itself. This can be done by either physically accessing it, or by exploiting a vulnerability in the router’s software. Always be sure to change your router’s default password when installing a new router and keep the router’s firmware up to date.
Second, the router could be compromised remotely. This can happen through phishing, malware, or social engineering.
Finally, the router could be hacked indirectly. The hacker could compromise the wireless access point that connects your router to the rest of your home network. The hacker could then use that access point to connect to your router and hack it.
Once a hacker has gained access to your home network, they can do several things. For example, they could delete or steal your personal files, install malware on your computer, steal passwords, or steal information about your personal identity.
What Are The Signs That Your Home Network Has Been Hacked?
Hackers are constantly searching for new ways to access your home network. They use a variety of methods to do so, ranging from social engineering to direct physical access. It’s a good idea to stay up to date on tactics being used by hackers and know what to look out for if you suspect your network has been compromised.
Your Home Network Has Increased Activity At An Unusual Rate
If you have noticed that there has been an unusual amount of activity on your network, then you have possibly become the victim of a malicious attack. These attacks are called malware infections. Malware, short for malicious software, is any program that’s designed to disrupt or damage a computer or network.
Malware can be anything from a virus to a Trojan horse to a worm. Some hackers target people, while others try to steal your identity and financial information. Hackers use malware to find vulnerabilities in your computer. Once they find a vulnerability, they’re able to take control of your computer.
It’s important to keep in mind that a hack doesn’t necessarily mean your computer has been damaged. There are several ways your network might have become infected:
- You downloaded a bad file, such as a virus.
- You installed a bad program, such as a browser hijacker.
- You opened a bad email.
- You visited a website that had a bad script or link.
How To Detect Malicious Hackers On Your Network
Hacking is used to going undetected for as long as possible. It’s used by hackers to make as much money off of stolen credit cards and personal data as possible.
You can tell if someone is using your network by checking what devices are connected to your network. All you need to do is log into your router to determine which devices are typically associated with your wireless network.
The first step for finding this information is usually in a section called “Device List” or “Attached Devices”. You should see a list of device names like “Barry’s iPhone,” but you should also be aware that some devices may only appear as their IP addresses which makes them difficult to identify.
If you see some device names that seem like they don’t belong on, or have never been on, your network, then you may have been compromised.
If You Think Your Network Has Been Compromised, Here Is What You Should Do
Unplug Your Potentially Compromised Device From The Internet
If a hacker has gained access to your device, this will “break” the connection to their server or device that has been used to gain access. This will limit the damage that could be caused and prevent further infection or data compromise.
Change Your Wireless Password Immediately
Log into your wireless router and change the Wi-Fi password as soon as possible. If anyone is connected nearby causing havoc on your home network, this will stop them in their tracks.
Run A Virus Scan On All Potentially Infected Devices
Your computer should have Anti-Virus on it already. If so, run a “Full Scan” or “Aggressive Scan”, as many A/V software companies call it, to isolate the infection. If any possible infection is found, quarantine or delete it.
Call A Local IT Services Company For Eradication
Disconnecting from the internet for a long enough period may stop the bad actor in their tracks, but you should call a local professional for help. Running a virus scan may find Malware and remove it, but there could still be remnants on your device or network that will take a professional to fully remedy and keep the attack from reoccurring.
How To Prevent Hackers From Accessing Your Network In The First Place
Be Cautious When Opening Attachments or Clicking Links In Email or On The Web
Infected files or links are often used to transmit malicious software. The virus will download and install itself on your device when you click on the link or attachment. These viruses can make changes to your network, such as disabling Windows firewalls, enabling remote access, logging your keystrokes to steal sensitive data, or encrypting your data for a ransom.
Use A Reputable Anti-Virus Software
There are a fair share of “good” free Anti-Virus programs out there, but make sure they do what they need to do. The problem with a free A/V is that they may not protect you to their fullest ability. You typically have to pay for all of their protection features. Whatever Anti-Virus you use, make sure you do your research to make sure it will protect your devices. A lot of people are reluctant to pay for A/V, but your data and personal identity are at stake, so $37/year is not that bad.
Always Keep Your Software Up To Date
Don’t ignore those pesky Microsoft Windows updates or any other software updates for that matter. They are not there to annoy you. They are provided to keep your systems secure and running at optimal performance. Regularly installing these provided updates decrease the chances of a malicious attack from a software vulnerability.
Recapping everything said above, just be diligent when browsing the internet as well as keep all of your software and systems up to date when different vendors release patches and updates. Keep a keen eye on the activity on your home network and don’t ever think anything is not a big deal. Your data and personal identity are at risk! If you suspect you may have been compromised or hacked in some way. take the necessary steps to identify the risk and eradicate it.