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Safety & Security

December 18, 2021

In the past, building a home network was nothing more than installing a wireless router and several computers. Today, as so many of us are working, connecting, or learning from home, we have to pay more attention to cybersecurity in our homes. Here are four simple cybersecurity basics:

Your Wireless Network

Almost every home network starts with a wireless (or Wi-Fi) network. This wireless network enables your devices to connect to the Internet. In most homes, the Internet router or a separate, dedicated wireless access point controls the wireless network. They both work the same way — by broadcasting wireless signals that allow the devices in your house to connect to the Internet. These wireless signals mean that securing your wireless network is a key part of cybersecurity for your home. We recommend the following steps to secure it.

  • Change the default administrator password to your Internet router or wireless access point, whichever is controlling your wireless network. The administrator account is what allows you to configure the settings for your wireless network.
  • Ensure that only devices you trust can connect to your wireless network. Do this by enabling strong security. Doing so requires a password to connect to your home network and encrypts online activities once connected.
  • Ensure the password used to connect to your wireless network is a strong password that is different from the administrator password. Remember, your devices store passwords, so you only need to enter the password once for each device.

If you’re not sure how to do these steps, check your Internet Service Provider’s website or check the website of the vendor for your router or wireless access point. Their tips can help you develop some basic cybersecurity skills.


One of the basics in cybersecurity is using a strong, unique password for each device and online account. The most important words here are strong and unique. The longer your password, the stronger it is. Try using a series of words that are easy to remember, such as sunshine-doughnuts-happy.

A unique password means using a different password for each device and online account. Creating a unique password does not mean adding a number or letter to the end of an existing password. If possible, avoid choosing passwords that people who know you or can access your public information, such as a social media account, can easily guess.

Use a password manager to remember all those strong passwords, which is a security program that securely stores all your passwords for you in an encrypted, virtual safe.

Additionally, enable two-step verification whenever available, especially for your online accounts. Two-step verification uses your password and adds a second authentication step, such as a code sent to your smartphone or an app that generates the code for you. Enabling this verification is probably the most important step you can take, and it’s much easier than you think.

Your Devices

The next step is ensuring all devices with connections to your wireless home network are trustworthy and secure. This process was simple when you had just a computer. However, almost anything can connect to your home network today, including your smartphones, TVs, gaming consoles, baby monitors, printers, speakers, or perhaps even your car.

Once you have identified all the devices on your home network, ensure that each of them is secure. The best way to do this is to change any default passwords and enable automatic updating whenever possible. As you update your devices you may want to learn basic cybersecurity terms to ensure you’re as protected as possible.

Another way to keep your devices secure is by installing up-to-date security software. Most basic security software will include firewall antispyware and antivirus software. Many web browsers now have safeguards built into the system to detect phishing websites and malicious software downloads. To protect your tablet, smartphone, and other mobile devices, use security software that allows you to locate your device after theft or misplacement and erase any personal information.


Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you may be hacked. If that is the case, often, the only way you can recover your personal information is to restore it from a backup. Make sure you are doing regular backups of any important information and verify that you can restore from them. Most mobile devices support automatic backups to the Cloud. For most computers, you may have to purchase some type of backup software or service, which are relatively low-priced and simple to use.

What to Do After a Cyber Hacking

While cyber hacking is an intense invasion of privacy, you can quickly protect yourself and prevent serious damage by reacting correctly. Take these steps to avoid or reduce harm:

  1. Immediately change your password: If your personal account is at risk or the company you have an account with has experienced a cyber attack, the first thing you should do is change your password. If you can no longer access your account, reach out to the company.
  2. Look at your account activity: Take a close look at your account activity to ensure that all actions are correct. If you use the same username and password for multiple accounts, you may want to check that hackers haven’t accessed your other accounts.
  3. Get your account back to normal status: if you have an account with a major company, they most likely have processes already in place to help return your account to normal. If you receive an email from a company about the hack, make sure the hack legitimately happened and that the person emailing you is actually from the company.
  4. Tell friends and family: Alerting friends and family will protect them from cyber hacking as well. Tell them to be wary of suspicious messages from you or to change their passwords as well.
  5. Keep an eye on bank accounts: If hackers get enough information, they may access your bank account to make fraudulent purchases. Check your account activity yourself to verify purchases and report any suspicious activity.
  6. Scan for malware: If hackers have gotten into your email account, run a quick security scan of your computer to find and eliminate any damaging programs on your computer.

Stay Safe With PeoplesBank

At PeoplesBank, we want all our clients to stay safe while banking. We have many resources for our clients about safety and security, and we are available 24/7 to assist with any issues with your debit card or account. To learn more about our services, contact us today!


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