Pagoda Blog

How to Secure Your Internet Connection: A Network Security Checklist

November 19, 2020

Network security, especially when working from home, is paramount to protecting your data and keeping your online activity private. Network security refers to your Wi-Fi network or internet connection and how well it’s protected against unauthorized users and hackers. There are a few simple steps you can take to secure your internet connection, whether you’re working in your spare bedroom or back at the office. 


What defines a safe network?  

A safe network or internet connection checks the following boxes: 


 - You have control over the connection

- You trust the other devices connecting to it

- You have a WPA/WPA3 wireless password setup


- Your connection is encrypted using a VPN


Let’s dive into each of these points in more detail. 


1. You have control over your network’s connection

Having control over your internet connection means that it is a private, password-protected network. A private connection allows you to control who is allowed to use your Wi-Fi. This is important for both security and connection speed. The first step to gaining control over your connection is to rename your wireless network and require a password to join. Internet routers come with a default administrator password so be sure to change that to a strong, unique password as well. Next, is to select the most updated security protocol. (See point 2 below.) 


2. You have a WPA/WPA3 security protocol 

When using an internet connection, it’s important to ensure the network is secured with a WPA/WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) security protocol. These security protocols encrypt your activity, making it harder for unauthorized parties to trace your online activity back to your device and gain access to personal data. WPA3 is the most recent and secure protocol, rivaling the security of a VPN. (See point 4 below for more on Virtual Private Networks.) 


WPA3 helps keep your activity private even with a weak Wi-Fi password and makes it easier to connect all your smart devices without compromising security. If your internet connection is secured with WPA2 or WPA, we recommend layering a VPN on top of your connection for additional security.  


3. You trust the other devices connected to your network

At the office and at home, everyone should be using devices that have the latest operating system and robust anti-virus software. It’s also important for everyone on your network to receive regular cybersecurity training. This helps greatly reduce the odds of someone falling prey to a phishing attack that could make the entire network vulnerable. If you’re working in a cafe or other public space, we recommend using a VPN (refer to point 4 below) to secure the public Wi-Fi connection. A VPN allows you to have control over your network rather than forcing you to share your connection with countless unknown, and potentially untrustworthy, users.


4. Your connection is encrypted using a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) uses encryption to effectively mask your online activity and your IP address making your location and activity virtually untraceable. Investing in a VPN will give you the most secure internet connection, whether you’re working from home or in a public space. For more information on how VPNs work and how to select one for your business, check out this post


A secure internet connection is a key piece of a multi-layered security strategy. Without it, you’re vulnerable to cyberattacks and to the unauthorized tracking of your online activity. Wherever you’re working these days, don’t neglect this critical component of your cybersecurity.     


Related reading: 


Managing Cybersecurity During a Pandemic and Civil Unrest

Boost Efficiency and Security With This Password Management Service

How to Limit Location Tracking on Your Smartphone


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