Firewalls, VPNs, Guest Wi-Fi, and Internet Secuity

Alice Stevens

Last Updated: February 24th, 2020

Computer CodeThere are many benefits to the internet — improved information sharing, streaming TV and movies, and social engagement.

The internet also poses risks. We share a lot of personal information online. While we can select privacy settings on most social media networks, we should also make sure our internet connection is secure.

Below are three recommendations from internet security experts:

Add a firewall

Perhaps the most well-known firewall is the one in China that restricts Google, Facebook, and Twitter. On a smaller scale, a firewall increases internet security because it controls the kind of traffic allowed on your server.

Jason Glassberg, Co-founder of Casaba Security advises, “It's a good idea to consider adding a firewall particularly if you live in an apartment building or do sensitive tasks over Wi-Fi. An inbound and outbound firewall is best.”
 
A firewall can keep unauthorized devices from accessing your internet service, which is a great protection from moochers and hackers.
 
As you configure your firewall, make sure you configure it correctly.

Phillip Livingston, who is experienced in the IT industry and currently owns SEO it, says, “One of the leading causes of compromised computer networks is misconfigured firewalls. Close all unnecessary ports on your router.”

Routers have several kinds of internet ports. Some of them can be useful when open but can also create unnecessary security risk.
 
“A lot of people enable remote desktop protocol, port 3389, so they can access their computers from the internet. They also leave port 21 open so they can access their files remotely. This leaves their network susceptible to brute force attacks. The best alternative is to disable those ports and use a VPN instead. It’s more secure,” says Livingston.

Use a VPN

A VPN is a virtual private network. It is another great way to enhance your internet security and protect your personal information.

Paul Bischoff, privacy advocate at Comparitech.com, says, “Even if a hacker has infiltrated your wireless router, using a VPN on your phone or laptop will encrypt all your internet traffic before it leaves the device. This will make it impossible for a hacker to decipher anything they happen to intercept.”

A VPN can be accessed by most devices that access the internet, like routers, mobile phones, computers, and tablets.

VPN companies offer subscriptions to VPNs. The subscription fee varies depending on the company, but generally hovers around $6 per month. Purchasing a VPN service contract from a reputable company is an inexpensive way to protect your personal information.

Create a guest Wi-Fi network

Setting up your Wi-Fi network into your personal Wi-Fi network and a guest Wi-Fi network can help protect your personal information.

Sophie Miles, CEO and Co-founder of elMejorTrato.com.co, says, “A Wi-Fi network for guests is nothing more and nothing less than an SSID isolated from the main one.”

SSID stands for service set identifier. It is the name of the Wi-Fi network.

“This allows two actions at the same time: People who connect to this network have access to the internet and isolate the equipment from the domestic Wi-Fi network and Local Area Network (LAN) of the users of this SSID, avoiding unauthorized access,” Miles says.

In other words, it permits internet while isolating your personal devices from visitor devices accessing your Wi-Fi via guest access.

“It’s hard to control what sites your guests visit or what they download, but you can control the Wi-Fi they use. By having two networks, you don’t have to worry about your personal information being compromised,” says Holly Zink, a tech and online security expert for Safeguarde.

Setting up a guest Wi-Fi network has other security benefits.

“The purpose of creating this network is simply to enable the connection of users without offering the password of our Wi-Fi network, thus avoiding having to change the password periodically,” says Miles.

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