In the current era, the number of cybercriminals is rising by the day. At a time when we have to face random insider threats, hacks, targeted attacks, and many more cyberattacks, it becomes obvious to ensure the security of your networks. While you can protect yourself physically, you cannot do the same for your data that can be accessed by any hacker through the wireless network which doesn’t come with physical fences.
Network security is essential and should be mandated everywhere to make sure that your system’s data and personal information are not accessed without authorization. In this blog, we’ll provide you with some basic yet necessary Windows network security tips to help you enhance protection for your networks.
What is meant by the Network Security Key of a Computer?
A network security key is a password or digital signature that allows you to enter a certain wireless network. This works as a secure means of authorization and prevents attackers and hackers from invading your network.
Moreover, the Mac or Windows network security key is responsible for establishing a secure connection between the user requesting access to the Wi Fi and the wireless network. As a result, the network and the associated devices will stay protected from unauthorized access.
However, if you have a weak Windows network security key, then your network will remain open to cyber attacks. And sensitive information other than the data on the network can be accessed by cybercriminals. They can sell these on the dark web or misuse them for other serious crimes.
5 Tips To Ensure Better Security of Your Network
1. Your Network Security Key
Weak network security keys are the number one reason why hackers gain access to your connection. So, your passwords should be long and complex, preferably a combination of alphabets, digits, and symbols. Never use any general information about yourself like your child’s name, birthday, etc. as your password.
It is recommended that you change your passwords every 6 months so that your system security stays strong. Moreover, avoid writing down your passwords on the Notes app, sticky notes, sheets, or somewhere else on the computer. In fact, don’t even write it on pen and paper.
Writing down your password can leave it vulnerable to being found by someone else. Suppose, if a hacker gains access to your network, they might be able to access a lot more stuff if you keep your passwords written and saved on your computer.
2. Do Not Share Folders that are not Password-Protected
You should never share folders that are not password-protected via networks. So, all the user accounts of your network who wish to access the folders you are sharing should use the password to gain access. This ensures that even if an unwanted guest account enters your network, they can’t access your shared data.
Also, to share your folders securely on a home network, it’s best to use a Homegroup. This can help you share anything quickly and your shared resources will be accessed by computers only that can provide the password. Unwanted guests won’t be able to join the Homegroup unless they crack the password somehow.
3. Your Firewalls, Wi Fi Routers/Network, and Antivirus should be kept updated
Firewalls can be thought of as a virtual ‘wall’ that inbound and outbound traffic. These also act as a check that decides which traffic to allow or block. Hence, a Firewall is pretty important when it comes to ensuring your computer’s network security and you should always keep it on in the Windows Settings.
Here’s how you turn the Windows Firewall on or off: Click on Start button -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Security -> Firewall & Network protection. Now, you can turn on/off any of the networks on your Windows system by just clicking on it.
Antivirus software further strengthens your computer’s security by scanning all incoming files and protecting your system from viruses and malware. In fact, everybody should install antivirus software when they get a new computer to stay safe against internet threats.
While both of these are great and efficient means of protecting your computer against internet attacks, a considerable number of people often forget to update them. So, you should every once in a while update your Firewall and antivirus or turn on auto-update to save yourself some effort.
Otherwise, you might be putting yourself in danger of cyberattacks through various security gaps. Updates will patch together the latest security gaps in the software. Also, to keep from distractions, you can schedule the auto-update feature to happen. This will ensure that your software will get updated even if you don’t manually do so.
4. Setting a Password Requirement for Every Time Windows Wakes Up From Sleep
It is recommended that you change the settings so that your Microsoft Windows needs a password whenever it wakes from sleep mode. This is highly beneficial for portable systems like laptops or tablets.
If the device gets lost or stolen, then they won’t be able to access your data. Even if someone sneakily tries to pry on your data, they won’t gain access if they don’t know the password.
Also, it is better if you set this up even on your work or home desktop computers to ensure that only you have access to all sensitive information.
5. When Connected to A Public Network, Use a VPN
It is much safer to use a VPN service while you are connected to some public wireless network. Otherwise, the data that you share or transfer to and from using the public Wi Fi can be accessed by others. A VPN service will protect your inbound and outbound traffic from other users of the same network.
It transfers your data through an encrypted tunnel. Moreover, it can also bypass restrictions to give you access to blocked websites. Most of the VPNs have their own client that you can get connected to. However, some might also allow you to connect directly from Windows.
Where is the network security key located?
Finding the Network Security Key on Microsoft Windows 10 system:
Follow the steps given below to know the location of the security key (for Microsoft Windows 10):
- Right-click on the Start button and then on “Network Connections”
- Click on “Network and Sharing Center.”
- Then, click on your WiFi network -> Wireless Properties -> Security tab.
- Now, click on “Show characters” and that will reveal your network security key.
Finding the Network Security Key On Your Mac Computer:
- Click on the search icon on the top right corner of your Mac desktop and type in “Keychain Access.”
- Type the name of your Wifi connection in the search bar and double-click on it once you find it.
- A dialog box will appear. Click on “Show Password.”
- You will be asked to provide your Mac password. Type in your Mac password and that will give you the security key.
There are a lot of ways to protect your network data from unwanted prying eyes and we’ve discussed the same above. Security tools like security keys, firewall, antivirus, etc. can be employed to enhance the security of your network and device.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is computer network security?
Computer network security refers to all the configurations and measures taken up by organizations or individuals to ensure the safety of their computer systems. These include measures to prevent unauthorized access by hackers and attackers. In other words, it is a set of rules built to protect the confidentiality, authenticity, and accessibility of computer networks and their data.
What are the types of network security?
There are quite a few types of network securities available but the most commonly used ones are: WEP and WPA/WPA2
WEP: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a type of security key that is used for devices that are WiFi enabled. These keys are easy to crack and can leave your network vulnerable to cyber threats.
WPA/WPA2: Wi Fi protected access (WPA/WPA2) can be thought of as a better version of WPA2. WPA comes with a passphrase that you’ll get from the owner of the network and so, the control lies with the owner completely. It provides a heightened level of security and is the more recommended one.
Does Microsoft Windows Security have a firewall?
Yes, Microsoft Windows Security comes with an in-built firewall and it’s called Microsoft Defender Firewall. It protects you from unauthorized cyber attacks and can be turned on and off as per your will.