Internet Security & The Internet Ready Toaster: Do You Really Need That?
Have you stopped to think how quickly technology has evolved in recent years? It just seems that anything will connect to the internet now. So what about your internet security?
Internet security has become a big deal. The internet is connected to laptops, smartphones, tablets, watches and TVs. But now it’s possible to have the internet connected to your fridge, kettle, thermostat, smoke detector, door bell, car, microwave, bicycle, toaster etc…! And there has been quick in-rush of, almost desperation, for big companies to bring these things to the market. Many have been launched with holes in their internet security. Many of us are unsure if our networks are good enough to provide internet security in our homes.
Most homes have a network infrastructure that comprises of bits of kit that have been forgotten over the years.
They may be routers that have been provided free by the internet service provider of choice. You may have something that was professionally installed, that’s now being left behind and running on old software. Therefore, your internet security is weak.
So what are the drawbacks of having a poor network infrastructure at home?
Having your internet security hacked is one thing, but perhaps it’s nothing to worry about?
If you have the right devices, hopefully, the hacker will start your favourite music playlist. They may also make some toast, just the right shade of brown. But, joking aside, what if they were targeting you and tapping into your CCTV? Checking if you are home and recording your living patterns? What if they were accessing your laptop for personal information? This quickly becomes a serious issue. Most of the devices on the market today will be secure enough to stop this from happening and it would perhaps take a sophisticated criminal to go to these lengths. However, our advice is to minimize your risks. The first step is to ask yourself if you really need everything connected to the internet. For instance, do I need the door lock connected to the internet? Any weak spots will compromise your internet security.
There are devices available that offer the same level of convenience without being internet connected. However, if you still need the device internet connected, put some time aside to research them. Choose products that have a good track record for internet security. Keep an eye out for any flaws that may be exposed in the future. Have a routine put in place where you or someone else will apply software patches as soon as they become available. Having a good quality router and Wi-Fi system in place, with the latest updates and patches applied, is also essential.
Aside from internet security, having so much kit connected to your network will usually drag the speed of your network down.
The result is often waiting for web pages or music streaming to load. Movies that buffer from time to time, which becomes annoying. If you have a good internet connection, this typically becomes avoidable. We can help you select network equipment that is built to deal with today’s high demands, such as Pakedge or Ruckus. Having a good Wi-Fi signal throughout your property will help any wireless devices to get the best possible connection. Having a network that’s capable of managing the traffic will give the right levels of priority to services, such as video, voice calls, security etc.
Your internet speed will be affected when your neighbour’s Wi-Fi clashes with yours. It can also be caused by having devices that are ‘sticky’ and keep a hold of weak Wi-Fi connections. These drag down the speed available to the rest of your devices. An intelligent Wi-Fi system will automatically select other channels when it detects a neighbouring Wi-Fi system. It will release those sticky devices, as and when required. As a result the rest of your home devices can enjoy a faster Wi-Fi connection.
If you have the choice, always wire your devices in.
We often see printers, laptops, music systems and games consoles connected through Wi-Fi. These devices will instead benefit from being hard-wired to the network using a cable. This will reduce clogging up the Wi-Fi network. If you’re buying a new device, always see if it’s possible to hard wire it into your network instead. It reduces security vulnerabilities, improves reliability and typically provides a higher speed connection.
These things are really just scratching the surface. It’s fair to say that your network infrastructure, with the ever increasing thirst for internet connected devices, has never been more important. If speed and security are important to you, it’s worth checking the type of network equipment you have in place and whether it’s good enough for your needs.
While it’s impossible to say that any one system out there will 100% block every kind of hacker. It is possible to choose something that makes it much more difficult to hack and provides much higher levels of speed and reliability. Having a routine in place to check everything is up to date, or can be updated remotely by your installer, will certainly go a long way.
If you need any help or have any concerns at all, please feel free to get in touch.
If you’d like more info on the types of network systems we recommend, please get in touch or you can see more info on the latest Pakedge and Ruckus systems in the links below.
Thanks as always!
Marvin, Simon and the MDFX team.
t. 01895 262600