Trending February 2024 # 17 Steps To Secure Your Home Wi # Suggested March 2024 # Top 10 Popular

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Wi-Fi networks, by design, are prone to vulnerabilities due to the fact that the signal is broadcasted wirelessly. The transmitting devices are always communicating with foreign devices, receiving packets of data.

Someone with the right skillset could easily intercept these packets. Such data from Wi-Fi networks can be decrypted and used to snoop in on sensitive info or used to gain access to the network.

If you’re only trying to secure your home Wi-Fi from your neighbors, basic steps like using strong passwords and encryption will suffice. However, if you want to ensure your Wi-Fi is safe even against hackers, you’ll need to cover all bases.

We recommend following the article’s outline, as the fixes have been organized in order of ease and importance. 

The first step is to follow fundamental practices like setting stronger passwords and using secure encryption.

We’ll begin with an extremely important security step. If your router is easily accessible, even people that you haven’t shared the password with could access the Wi-Fi.

For instance, they could use an Ethernet connection or features like WPS to connect to the Wi-Fi. Additionally, they could then use the login credentials from the router’s back panel to eventually decipher the Wi-Fi password. Or they could even reset the router and gain access that way.

People piggybacking on the Wi-Fi without the owner’s knowledge or consent is a common story, but it’s usually not a huge deal. However, if someone with malicious intent gains access to your network, they could model the router behavior to their benefit. This can range from simple piggybacking to serious threats like Man in the Middle (MiTM) attacks.

A lot of users don’t bother changing the router’s login credentials as they think a strong Wi-Fi password is enough. But there’s no point to that if someone can simply use the router’s default credentials to log in and change the settings.

Launch any web browser and enter the router IP into the URL bar.

Enter the login details to access the router dashboard.

Set a strong router password here and save the changes.

Some routers can be configured to only allow management console access from wired LAN connections. If your router supports a feature like this, enabling it could further minimize the chances of unauthorized wireless access.

It’s crucial to use a long and complex Wi-Fi passphrase with AES encryption. Basic passcodes like password, your router or Wi-Fi’s name, or your phone number can be easily guessed by most people. If a hacker is trying to gain access to your Wi-Fi, they could use penetration testing tools to test if common passwords or sequences of letters/number work. 

Your passphrase should contain multiple words with a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. A passphrase like #Ch@nged1nJ@nu@ry# is memorable and very hard to crack, whereas common passwords like qwerty or 0123456789 would be cracked in no time.

With all this in mind, here’s how you can change your Wi-Fi passphrase:

Login to the router dashboard. In some cases, you may need to switch to Advanced mode.

Set the passphrase here and save the changes. 

Repeat the same for additional bands if you’re using a multi-band router.

A strong password is just one part of the puzzle; using a secure encryption standard is just as important. Older security and encryption protocols like WEP, WPA, or TKIP are easily exploitable using current technology and, thus, are no longer considered secure to use.

At the minimum, you should configure your router to use WPA2-PSK (personal) with AES encryption. Setting theoretical possibilities aside, this will make your home Wi-Fi practically uncrackable.

Of course, if your devices are compatible, or if you have the necessary skills and resources, security modes like WPA3 or WPA2-Enterprise are even more secure. But for most home networks, WPA2-PSK will be sufficient.

With that said, here’s how you can configure the security and encryption modes on your router:

Access the router dashboard and enable Advanced mode.

Switch to the WLAN, Wireless Security, or similar tab, as done earlier.

Set the encryption mode to AES and save the changes.

The previous section covered the most important dos for securing your Wi-Fi. This section will focus on what you shouldn’t do.

Before proceeding further, we recommend checking if any firmware updates are available for your router. Most routers receive firmware updates once every 1-2 years. It’s important to install these updates as they generally contain patches for recently discovered vulnerabilities.

As long as you’re using the latest firmware provided by the manufacturer, you’re good to go. But if you want to go the extra mile, you can flash custom firmware like DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT, etc., which tend to be more secure than standard firmware. In addition to removing various vulnerabilities, they also give you much more control over your network.

The Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature allows you to connect devices to the Wi-Fi without entering a password. Instead, you can press the WPS button on the router and a similar physical or virtual button on your devices to connect them to the Wi-Fi.

The second method is to enter the 8-digit WPS Pin printed on the back of the router when trying to connect. In either case, if someone has physical access to the router, they could easily access the Wi-Fi even without the password.

Placing the router in a physically secure spot can help with this. But in most cases, it’s better to just disable WPS altogether.

Login to the router dashboard and go to the Wi-Fi, WLAN, Wireless, or similar tab.

Save the changes when you’re done.

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is meant to ease device discovery and facilitate connectivity across a network. It essentially simplifies the initial configuration process so that you can connect a device to the network, and no additional steps are required. But this convenience comes at a cost.

As UPnP doesn’t implement any authentication by default, UPnP-enabled routers will open requested ports automatically. In a local network, this wouldn’t be a huge deal. But a flaw in UPnP IGD devices allows UPnP requests from the internet. Unauthorized users could gain access to such devices by exploiting this flaw.

In a home setting, users typically use UPnP to install devices like printers or for things like game consoles. Unless you absolutely need it, it’s best to keep this feature disabled.

Access the router dashboard and switch to Advanced mode.

In the UPnP section, disable UPnP and save the changes.

Routers will often have Remote Management enabled by default so that ISPs and technicians can remotely access and service the router as required. This feature can be very useful, but leaving it permanently exposed to the internet is not the best idea. Instead, we recommend disabling it and only turning it on when required.

Login to the router dashboard and switch to Advanced mode.

Toggle off the Remote Management option and save the changes.

Hiding the SSID is security by obscurity – it’s basically useless and only gives users a false sense of security. Anyone with basic knowledge of network detection tools can use said tools to find the SSID.

Even worse, client devices that have connected to this Wi-Fi before will constantly be broadcasting to check if the network is available. All this does is drain your device’s battery faster.

Another commonly suggested security measure is MAC Address Filtering. The Network Interface Controller (NIC), i.e., the network card on your devices, has a unique hardware address called MAC Address. 

The idea is to use this unique identifier to only allow select devices to access the network. Or to block certain devices from accessing the network.

If you want to use features like Access Control and Parental Controls, maybe set time limits on how long your kid’s device can connect to the Wi-Fi per day, this can be useful.

But when trying to secure your Wi-Fi against actual threats, this feature can be deceiving (in a bad way). Pen-testing tools like Kismet, Fluxion, Ethereal, etc., allow users to check which MAC Addresses have network access from outside the network. On most platforms, spoofing a device’s MAC Address to a valid one is very simple, which renders MAC Filtering pointless.

This portion covers some optional but worthwhile practices you can follow to further strengthen your Wi-Fi.

Some of your router’s built-in security mechanisms, like the firewall, will be active by default. Other ones, like DOS Protection, may need to be enabled manually. You should check and ensure all such security features are active with the following steps:

Access the router dashboard and switch to Advanced mode.

Some routers may even allow setting different levels of firewall protection. The levels are defined differently according to the manufacturer, so you can press the Info/Help button and use the appropriate protection level for your specific case.

Most modern routers support the guest networking feature, which allows you to set up a separate network using the same router. Whenever you need to share the Wi-Fi with people outside of your family, you can give them access to this secondary network.

For starters, this means you won’t have to share the main Wi-Fi’s password. You can also control what level of access devices on that network have with features like AP Isolation. And when you don’t need the guest network, you can simply turn it off.

To start, log in to the router dashboard and check the Wi-Fi, Wireless, Advanced, or similar tabs.

Fine-tuning the network access level and network discovery may or may not be doable, depending on the router. If you do configure these settings, don’t forget to save the changes afterward.

Monitoring your network traffic is a good practice in general, but it can be especially useful if you suspect any unauthorized users are piggybacking on your Wi-Fi. It may also be required for some of the security mechanisms covered earlier, like DOS Protection. In any case, here’s what we recommend:

Note the Client Name, MAC Address, and Assigned IP. If you find any suspicious clients listed here, go to your device’s Wi-Fi settings and compare the noted values.

After checking all of your devices, if you find any unauthorized devices, you can remove them from the Wi-Fi.

These basic steps to check for unauthorized users will be enough in most cases. But if you also want to monitor the network traffic and perhaps set volume limits, here’s what you should do:

Switch to Advanced mode and go to the Administration, Advanced Setup, or similar tabs.

The configuration options for this traffic meter vary according to the router. So, press the Info button at the bottom or side of the page to get a detailed explanation of each option. Then, simply monitor the traffic or set volume/time limits according to your preference.

Now, traffic monitoring may or may not be supported depending on the router. As an alternative, you can also use programs like Wireshark or Windows’ Resource Monitor to monitor your network. 

AP Isolation basically sets up a filter that allows wireless devices to only communicate with the router. This isolates the devices and prevents client-to-client communication, adding an extra layer of security.

It’s mainly used in public Wi-Fi hotspots, where a large number of users are connected, and some may have malicious intentions. Setting up a guest Wi-Fi network is generally a better alternative for home use. 

This restricts any unwanted devices to the secondary network, and you’ll still be able to access necessary clients (e.g., NAS). However, if your router doesn’t natively support guest networking, or you simply prefer AP Isolation, it’s certainly a viable option.

The problem with this is that IoT devices are very popular these days. You might have things like security cameras or garage doors connected to the Wi-Fi. Disabling the Wi-Fi would prevent you from remotely managing such devices.

Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh the convenience and security benefits to decide if this method is worth it for you.

Like the previous point, adjusting your Wi-Fi signal range also has various pros and cons. The idea is that by limiting the broadcast range to only within your house or compound, anyone outside the range won’t see the Wi-Fi. And this is partly true.

5 GHz Wi-Fi has lower penetration power and thus a lower range compared to 2.4 GHz. Using only 5 GHz Wi-Fi, adjusting the router’s TX Rate, or removing detachable antennas can all be easy ways to reduce the Wi-Fi’s range. 

We’ve seen cases where people gave Wi-Fi access to neighbors but didn’t want them to be on the Wi-Fi all the time. Sure it’s very specific, but this can help in such cases. Ultimately, it’s not very practical or effective in terms of security though.

Fine-tuning the exact Wi-Fi range is a fairly difficult process. You might decrease the router’s transmission strength to only inside your home, and then you realize the signal doesn’t reach your bedroom now because there are too many obstructions in the signal path.

Even if you fine-tune the range perfectly, it’s still useless against dedicated hackers. For instance, wardrivers typically use high-gain antennas, which allow them to hear wireless signals from far away. To effectively control the signal range, you’d need a shielded home.

Generally speaking, this will worsen the usability of your network without providing many security benefits. In fact, it might even leave you vulnerable to an Evil Twin attack through tools like Karma. But it does still have some niche use cases.

A common mistake when securing home Wi-Fi networks is only patching vulnerabilities on the router’s end. Your client devices must also be secured properly, as you don’t want that to be the weak link after all this work.

This means it’s important to use reliable antivirus and firewall tools as appropriate for the device’s platform. Keeping the system and firmware updated is also important, particularly in the case of IoT devices which tend to be vulnerable compared to PCs and smartphones.

Tying into the previous point, IoT devices tend to be configured with little to no security or authentication mechanism. In fact, they’re typically set up with weak credentials (e.g., admin-admin, admin-password) and support insecure and outdated protocols like HTTP.

As such, your IoT devices should ideally be kept away from your main Wi-Fi. Instead, you can set up a separate wired network with a secondary router or create a separate VLAN and use it exclusively for IoT devices.

Additionally, you should take further steps like setting up two-factor authentication (2FA) and preferring wired connections rather than wireless for such devices.

Ok, we’re heading into paranoid territory now. For most home users, these are overkill and not worth the time or effort. But if you want to max out your Wi-Fi’s security anyway, here are some additional things worth looking into:

We’ll start with a fairly tame solution. Stick to trusted and time-tested brands and devices when it comes to networking hardware.

Use firewall operating systems like PFsense or SophosXG. You can install these on a physical machine or a VM as you prefer.

If your router allows you to reset the firewall, you can configure the firewall rules from scratch. It’ll be a hassle to open ports manually at first, but ultimately, this will allow for the highest level of control.

You can set up authentication servers like RADIUS and Kerberos to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and its resources.

We’ve also seen some cases where users were concerned that the admin (family or landlord) was snooping in on their internet history. If you’re similarly concerned about your privacy, you can use a VPN, TOR Browser, or maybe even set up a TOR access point. VPNs and TOR should also be used whenever you connect to public Wi-Fi.

We’ll conclude with a simple but important practice. Always use HTTPS. By encrypting and verifying all HTTP requests and responses, it protects against MiTM attacks. This is extremely important on public Wi-Fis, but it’s a practice that should be followed on home Wi-Fis as well.

You're reading 17 Steps To Secure Your Home Wi

3 Ways To Make Your Xiaomi Smartphone More Secure

You can set up a screen lock on your Xiaomi smartphone so no one except you can unlock and use it. You can set a fingerprint unlock or face unlock on your Xiaomi smartphone using these simple steps.

2. Here, tap on Fingerprint unlock, but before that, you need to either set Pattern, Pin, or Password.

3. If you opt for the PIN option, a pop-up will open to prompt you about remembering your password; simply tap on Got it.

4. Type in your desired PIN and tap Continue, confirm the PIN again, and tap OK.

5. Now, register your Fingerprint by tapping the sensor a number of times and tap Done once finished.

6. Now you can easily unlock your phone and it can only be unlocked using your fingerprint or PIN.

Xiaomi smartphones come with a built-in feature to lock the apps with fingerprint, so only you can access these certain apps. This feature comes in handy when you hand the unlocked phone to someone and you don’t want them to fiddle around with other apps. You can easily lock the apps using these simple steps.

1. Open the Security app from the app drawer on your MIUI-based Xiaomi phone.

3. Now, Draw a pattern on the next screen. Repeat the same pattern to confirm and tap the Next button.

4. Next, you can choose to sign in to your Mi Account; or otherwise tap Not now.

5. Again tap on Not now from the popup and select the recommended apps from the list and tap Use App lock.

6. A list of all the installed apps will open, just toggle the switch beside the app that you want to lock.

To open the locked apps, you either have to enter the pattern or you can use your fingerprint, given that you have registered your fingerprint. You can even use your enrolled face to unlock the locked apps for more convenience.

1. Open the MIUI Security app on your phone.

2. Navigate to the Second space feature and tap the “Turn on Second space” button on the next screen.

4. Select Using a shortcut and tap Continue.

5. Next. tap Set now and enter your phone’s password on the next screen.

6. It will ask you to create a new password, create one and then tap Continue.

8. The phone will take a few seconds to switch to the new space and you will be greeted with a new home screen.

This home screen will have all the installed apps and you can even install more from the Play Store. Everything that you do in this space, will not be visible in the other space. To switch between spaces, tap the Switch shortcut on the home screen and touch your fingerprint sensor. To go directly to the second space from the locks screen, just enter the second space’s PIN as a password.

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How To Protect Your Windows 10 Device On Public Wi

How to protect your Windows 10 device on public Wi-Fi

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Although public Wi-Fi networks can be tempting, due to the fact that they’re free, using such a network could expose you to various dangers.

Some of the most common risks of using public Wi-Fi networks are traffic monitoring and data stealing. However, you can prevent all that if you follow a few easy steps.

Check out our dedicated Wi-Fi section for more Wi-Fi-related guides, fixes, and recommendations.

Visit our Network & Internet Hub to learn more about keeping your Internet connection in top shape.

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Public Wi-Fi networks are usually great, as they provide just about everyone with free access to the Internet.

However, public Wi-Fi networks also have a dark side. Despite the fact that free Wi-Fi is great, it’s not always safe.

For instance, you may encounter malicious users on the same public Wi-Fi network you’re currently using.

These agents can be hazardous to your safety and privacy since most of them are out to get your personal data.

But enough chit-chat, you’re here to discover how to keep safe on public Wi-Fi networks and that’s exactly what we’re going to teach you.

Keep safe your PC on a public Wi-Fi Network

Buy a VPN subscription (we recommend PIA)

Download the VPN client on your device

Install the VPN client

Launch it and log in to your account

Connect to any server you want

Enjoy private, secure browsing on public Wi-Fi

A VPN does wonders when it comes to protecting your traffic from various agents that would just love snooping around and through it.

Not only does a VPN such as PIA re-route your traffic through its private servers (secure tunnel), but it also encrypts it.

Thus, even if someone would intercept your traffic from inside the public Wi-Fi network, it would all look like gibberish, thanks to encryption.

Private Internet Access

Looking for a reliable VPN to use on public Wi-Fi networks? Private Internet Access is a great choice.

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Turning on file sharing and network discovery is not unheard of, especially if you’re on a trusted network.

However, note that this feature should be only used at home/work, or wherever you can trust all the users on the network.

With that in mind, we recommend you only use this feature in safe environments and if it’s absolutely necessary.

It goes without saying that you should never ever use it on public Wi-Fi networks. Therefore, we’re going to teach you how to disable it.

It goes without saying that turning off network discovery will make other devices unable to see you on the current network.

Windows 10 has a built-in firewall, so if you’re not using a third-party solution, you can at least make sure that your Windows one is active.

A firewall’s purpose is to regulate the incoming and outcoming network traffic thus keeping your computer safe from attackers.

This is how you can check if your Windows Firewall is running:

If you have a third-party firewall installed, Windows Firewall will turn itself off automatically, and there’s no need to enable it.

Whenever you interact with your web browser, you’re sending data that malicious users on the same network could intercept.

If you’re not using a VPN to encrypt your whole traffic, you should at least make sure you’re using an encrypted connection in your browser.

It’s really easy to spot an encrypted connection since it’s marked by HTTPS. HTTPS is an extension of HTTP and it’s used for security purposes.

Of course this doesn’t apply to apps or any other services where you can’t see what’s going on or whether or not your traffic is encrypted.

However, checking the protocol in your browser is a simple and quite effective thing to do to ensure you’re alright.

Expert tip:

Various apps and services maintain connections and make requests in the background, even if you’re not actively using them.

So, to avoid any accidental data leaks, turning off your Wi-Fi when you’re not actively using it turns out to be a wise decision.

Here’s the thing: over the years, your device got smarter and smarter, and all of a sudden it thinks it could decide everything for you.

One such example is connecting to any public, unsecured Wi-Fi if the signal is strong enough.

Yeah, that saves you just about 2 precious seconds, but it may also connect to a trick hotspot created by a malicious hotspot.

Those are called Hotspot Honeypots. Do you want to know why? Because they make monitoring traffic of unsuspecting victims look like child’s play.

There are a lot of reasons why a seasoned hacker or a script kiddie would want to grab your private browsing data.

However, one of the most common reasons is stealing accounts. All of them, if possible; your social media, bank accounts, cloud storage, you name it.

It’s wise to take a step back and consider that these accounts are not exactly fair game. No, they have passwords to protect them.

So what’s the first step you need to take to protect them? That’s right, choose a strong password, one that’s generated automatically if possible.

Can’t remember all the mixed characters and symbols? You could just use a password manager. But wait, there’s more!

In addition to using strong, uncrackable passwords for your accounts, you could also activate multi-factor authentication.

That way, if the attacker manages to get its hands on your password, it will also need an additional confirmation to access your account.

Whether it’s an antivirus, firewall, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, or all of the above, you need to keep security software in top shape.

They’re responsible for your device’s wellbeing, after all, especially when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network.

Just make sure everything is running smoothly by checking for updates every now and then.

Well, you should definitely do that a lot more often than every now and then, but you get the picture.

Conclusion

All things considered, there are several ways to stay protected while using public Wi-Fi networks.

Without a doubt, using a VPN is just about the best way you can go about it.

A VPN will re-route your connection and encrypt your traffic, keeping potential traffic monitoring enthusiasts at bay.

However, if you’re not ready to commit to purchasing a VPN plan, there are plenty of other ways you can tackle public Wi-Fi security.

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How To Secure Your Website From Hacking & Manual Actions

Security threats and search engine penalties are critical issues that can hurt your rankings and your bottom line. You need to avoid them from the outset.

To achieve great SEO results, you need to learn the basic steps you can take to ensure that your website is well-protected and properly optimized.

I had the pleasure of moderating a Best of SEJ Summit webinar on June 27, presented by Eric Kuan, Webmaster Relations Specialist at Google.

Kuan talked about website security and manual actions, and how webmasters and SEO professionals can avoid getting hacked and penalized.

Here is a recap of the webinar.

How to Keep Your Website Secure

According to Google, the number of hacked sites increased by approximately 32 percent in 2024 compared to 2024.

Thankfully, in 2023, the search engine was able to reduce webspam with over 80 percent of hacked sites removed from search results.

While Google is making significant progress in combating website hacking, you shouldn’t be complacent. Aggressive hackers prey on vulnerable websites, and if you don’t secure your outdated site now, you might be the next target of their attack.

Common Types of Website Compromises

Spam

Hacked spam is the most common type of website compromise. Spammers inject content into a legitimate website in order to drive traffic to a malicious or deceptive site.

Hackers might redirect content to pharmaceutical, gambling, or pornographic websites that can cause real damage to your actual site. They are attempting to leverage the reputation of your site in order to get their bad content to rank.

Malware

Malware is any piece of software that was written with the intent of doing harm to data, devices, or people.

Malware can directly affect your website users, which is why Google provides strict warnings.

Credit Card Skimming

Credit card skimming is a fairly new security threat that affects ecommerce platforms. This is one of the most dangerous compromises for consumers because credit card data is stolen.

There’s a potential threat that malicious code was injected onto a site that skims credit cards so when users are typing in their credit card credentials, either they get moved to another page (i.e., a phishing page) or there’s some type of system that stores that credit card information and sends it to the person who hacked the site.

If you have an ecommerce site and you noticed anything unusual, look into your platform and check if there’s something going on.

Having your users’ credit card information stolen can hurt your reputation if you don’t address this immediately.

Crypto Mining

Recently, crypto mining instances have been on the rise.

Crypto mining hackers inject one or two lines of JavaScript on to your site and start using your users’ resources in order to mine for cryptocurrencies.

This has reportedly caused a lot of issues with mobile phones and devices with limited processing power.

While there are legitimate ways of using crypto mining, a lot of times, hackers will inject it onto your site without you knowing. It’s going to negatively affect your users’ experience and your brand.

Make Web Security a Priority

Always put web security at the top of your list.

Hackers are constantly looking for exploits. Check your log files constantly so you can spot and fix any compromises right away.

Pay attention because only a single weak link is needed to break the entire chain. You can do 98-99 percent right in website security but if you neglect that 1-2 percent, you’re still vulnerable to compromises. Hackers can exploit that one weak link and undo all the security measures you’ve done.

Whether you’re a small or a big brand, you can get affected by website compromises. No one is 100 percent immune to these types of security issues.

A Quick Word on Social Engineering (Phishing)

The most believable phishing sites trick almost half of the users. Thus, you need to make sure that everybody who has access to your website is really well educated about phishing threats and that they understand that there are people out there trying to steal your website credentials.

Around 20 percent of the compromised accounts are accessed within 30 minutes after being phished. After you’re phished, you have a really small window of recovering your site and changing all your passwords.

Again, you want to make sure that prevention is there. You don’t want to be fixing things after the fact. You want to be preventing things before they happen.

Why Should You Care?

If your site is hacked, a lot of damage can happen:

Users cannot access your site.

You and your user’s data will be compromised.

Your brand’s reputation will be affected.

Aside from the above damages, fixing a hacked site, finding the vulnerability and re-securing lost data can be extremely difficult.

Hackers will constantly try to keep a hacked website hacked. Therefore, they will do things that can prevent you from spotting the compromise, such as cloaking and file injection.

The best thing way to avoid this inconvenience is to secure your website properly.

What Can You Do?

Here are the steps you can take to avoid your website from getting hacked.

1. Sign up for Search Console

Once you’ve added and verified ownership of your site in Search Console, Google will send you critical website notifications such as vulnerability and hacking warnings that you need to pay attention to.

Google is also constantly creating new documentation to help webmasters. Recently they put out this guide that outlines what can be done to recover from a hacked website.

2. Keep Security at the Forefront of Your Strategy

Talk to everyone who works on your site – developers, marketers, SEO professionals, etc. – and make sure that they understand the importance of security.

3. Back up Your Site Regularly

This is one of the most effective ways to recovering your site when it has been compromised, but not all webmasters do it. If you have a backup of your site, it will be easier to revert it to its original state prior to getting hacked.

4. Keep Software Updated

Keeping your software updated is the easiest thing you can do to prevent your site from being compromised. Most of the compromises Google sees are from outdated software such as content management systems (CMS), plugins, etc.

If you’re using a CMS or ecommerce platform, sign up for their newsletter and be on the lookout for emails saying you need to update the software due to security risks.

Talk to the people who are working on your site because sometimes making updates to the software can cause certain plugins to break or become incompatible.

5. Consider Investing in Security Software

If you’re not an expert in securing your site or you think you need an added layer of protection, you can invest in a security software.

6. Use Two-Factor Authentication

If you have any type of username/password combinations that you want to keep secure, use two-factor authentication.

It gives you a second layer of security in this age where countless of major account login data leaks are happening.

A Quick Word About HTTPS

HTTPS is about encrypting the information transmission of your website, which is a good practice that can help keep user data secure. This is related to, but different from, securing your website from intrusion.

Google urges using HTTPS everywhere. If you have limitations, then use it on any sensitive data that gets passed like passwords or credit cards.

Starting near the end of July 2023, Google’s Chrome 68 browser will notify if sensitive info is being passed on non-secure connections. See the Google Security Blog for additional tips and details.

How to Avoid Manual Actions What is a Manual Action?

A manual action is an adjustment of a site that is manipulating Google search. Manipulative behavior is:

Anything done to trick search engines.

Deceptive behavior (e.g., cloaking, unnatural links, scraping content).

Not limited to a specific set of rules.

What Should You Do? Check Webmaster Guidelines

Make sure to follow and understand Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Don’t resort to manipulative behavior to game the search engine – it will do you no good.

Don’t Be Overly Concerned with Manual Actions

If you’re building a good website for your users, you aren’t going to get penalized.

A manual action is reserved for webmasters trying to do something tricky in order to manipulate search rankings.

Improve Ranking by Focusing on Your User’s Needs & Technical SEO

Talk to your users about how you can improve their experience on your website. Google focuses on bringing users to sites that would be most helpful for them. Therefore, if you listen to what your users need and give them what they want, you should have no difficulty in ranking well.

You should also make sure that your website’s technical SEO components are on point so that Google understands it properly.

What Is a Reconsideration Request?

A reconsideration request is a request to have Google review your site after you fix problems identified in a manual action notification.

Reconsideration requests are manually reviewed by the Google Webmasters team.

Characteristics of a Good Reconsideration Request:

Demonstrates understanding of the problem.

Details how the problem was solved.

Characteristics of a Bad Reconsideration Request:

Submits a blank site.

Doesn’t detail what was changed.

Completely tears down a site.

If you aren’t aware of the problem, get help from experts.

Resources Key Takeaways

Prioritize web security.

Follow Webmaster Guidelines.

Don’t worry unnecessarily about manual actions.

Video Recap: Google on Website Security and Manual Actions [Webinar]

Watch the video recap of the webinar presentation and Q&A below.

Here’s the SlideShare of the presentation as well.

Join Us For Our Next Webinar! KPIs, Metrics & Benchmarks That Matter For SEO Success In 2023

Reserve my Seat

Wire Your Home For Ethernet

Wireless networks may be convenient, but wired networks beat Wi-Fi in every other way. Wired networks are faster, they’re always reliable, and they’re secure. Unless you’re sitting on the couch with a laptop, or connecting a Wi-Fi-only device, such as an iPad, wired ethernet is the better way to go.

Make a Plan

Before you start laying cable, take time to figure out a few things. Where do you need ethernet jacks? Where will your central networking hardware sit? What are your logistical limitations? (If you aren’t sure whether you need ethernet, read our “The Ultimate Guide to Home Networking” for tips on determining the right networking technology for you.)

I wired ethernet to six areas throughout my small house: two in my office, one in the bedroom, two in the living room, and one in the kitchen. Each length of cable goes back to a closet containing the networking hardware, in a “home-run” layout.

My setup is likely overkill for many people. You might prefer to run just one or two cables to each location. If you have multiple devices–such as a TiVo, a PlayStation 3, and an Xbox 360–you can connect a switch outside your wall to add more ports.

Draw a schematic diagram of your house, including each use location, to visualize your plan. Any problems you can solve now will help the process run more smoothly.

As part of my wiring project, I took a bundle of cables all the way down to the crawl space under the house, going under the living room to reach the other side. Individual situations vary, but attics, basements, air ducts, and crawl spaces can make great conduits.

Order the Parts

Ethernet cables come with different ratings. Pick Category 5e or better, such as Cat 6. Cat 5e wires support 1000Base-T connections (gigabit), while Cat 6 cables can handle 10-gigabit speeds–but most home computers and other devices don’t go that fast, so I saved a little money and picked Cat 5e.

You can pay more for in-wall rated cables, including plenum cables encased in a fire-retardant jacket. Your local building codes might have a preference, but I opted for standard wiring.

Order spools of cable, likely in 1000-foot amounts. Though your whole job will probably come in at less than 1000 feet, I recommend running at least two spools at a time (I used three) to speed up the process by laying out pairs together.

At each outlet, you’ll wire each cable into an ethernet keystone jack. This jack interfaces with a modular, keystone wall plate that lets you insert combinations of RJ45 (ethernet), RJ22 (phone jacks), coaxial (cable TV), and other plugs. Figure out how many wall plates and ethernet jacks you’ll need, and order a few extra. I picked Cat 5e jacks again, but if you’re wiring for Cat 6, buy those instead.

Plot the Cable Runs

Before you lay the cable, clear the path in the walls. This part of the project is easiest if your walls are already open for other renovation, as mine were in some cases. Drill a path through the center of your studs, headers, fireblocks, and other beams with a ¾-inch or 1-inch paddle bit.

Be careful: A powerful, two-handed Milwaukee A/C drill (like the one I borrowed from a contractor) may make you feel like a big-time operator–but after you try to bore a hole with the drill is set on reverse–and wonder why it’s not working–your ego will regain its natural dimensions.

In many areas, I drilled multiple sets of holes so that I could fit multiple bundles of cable. You’ll want to keep them close together in most situations, except where doing so might weaken critical structures such as ceiling joists; in such cases, space the holes a few inches apart.

Avoid electrical wiring as much as possible. AC cables can interfere with ethernet if you run them together. Also, try to route the ethernet into its own wall bay. If that’s not possible, try to keep it 6 inches or so away from the AC wiring. Your cabling will probably have to cross the AC wiring at some point; but in those situations, try to do it at a 90-degree angle.

In places where your walls are closed, you’ll have to break into them. You’ve had your eye on that “Bay Leaf” and “Cornbread” Martha Stewart Living Paint, right?

For plaster walls (which are the type I dealt with), use the claw end of a hammer to score a horizontal line for your path. Use moderate force to chip in; then go back over the path with heavier swings, trying to break just a strip free. In most situations, you’ll work near the baseboard, where the outlets will end up.

For sheetrock walls, use a sheetrock saw to cut a 5-inch strip parallel to the baseboard. (You might be able to cut multiple, smaller holes and then use a hanger to pass the wire along, but in any event you need to get to the studs.) Drill your path through the exposed studs. If you encounter insulation, push it back and work in front of it.

Is It Better To Use Wi

Is It Better To Use Wi-Fi or Mobile Data? What Is The Difference Between Wi-Fi and Mobile Data

 Wi-Fi Mobile Data

Uses a router

Can be set up by an internet service provider or IT

Covers smaller areas like home, cafe, office, airport, restaurant, etc

Can sustain data-intensive activities like streaming videos, downloading movies, working on the internet for long hours, playing high ping games, etc

Mostly limit data for a period. For example- your mobile carrier could provide you a 10 GB plan or restrict your usage to 1.5 GB/ day

No need for a router

Offered by mobile carriers

Covers large areas like towns, cities

Preferred for moderate activities like watching short videos, checking email, surfing the web, texting on the social media platform, etc

Unlimited plans are offered. Here some internet service providers may cap your internet usage after which they may cut down speed.

Why Should You Use Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that helps connect computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices to the internet. A radio signal is sent by the means of a wireless router to nearby devices. These signals are then translated into data and

Wi-Fi Doesn’t Get Exhausted Very Fast

As opposed to a cellular plan, most Wi-Fi plans get exhausted fast. So, if you are planning to watch videos or movies, Wi-Fi can be a great option.

Easy Availability Wi-Fi Is A Faster Option

Wi-Fi is a more feasible and faster option when considering data-intensive activities like Streaming Netflix, Skype, downloading music and movies, etc.

Gaming and Office Activities

Why Should You Use Mobile Data?

Mobile or cellular data allows you to access the internet when you are not using Wi-Fi. Your cellular data uses the same network that lets you make phone calls. Cellular data doesn’t require a router as opposed to Wi-Fi.

Can Help you At Places Where There Is No Wi-Fi

Let’s consider a scenario where you are traveling and you are in urgent need to book a cab from one destination to another. The nearest cafe that has Wi-Fi is quite far off. In such a scenario, your mobile data can prove to be a life savior.

For General Social Media Use

If you are someone who uses a smartphone to access social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc), your hourly consumption would come down to around 90 MB. Popular Music streaming platforms consume approximately 43 MB every hour. For such uses, your smartphone won’t consume much data and hence, using mobile data can be a good option there.

When There Is A Power Cut

In the event of a power cut, when you can’t use a router, your mobile data can prove to be your lifesaver especially if you have an urgent presentation to prepare. You can plug in your smartphone to your laptop, use a mobile hotspot (mobile data) and prepare the presentation.

If You Are On A Budget

Mobile data can be a great option for a moderate user who has to adhere to a budget. In most countries. Wi-Fi plans prove to be costlier than cellular data plans and a Wi-Fi might not be a feasible option for someone who uses the internet moderately.

The Security Aspect

When talking of a Wi-Fi network, you might be on a home or closed network which means access to it would require a password. However, if you are using public Wi-Fi at an airport, mall, cafe’, restaurant, hotel, etc, you would mostly be using an open network where either a password is not required or the password is shared with several customers. In the latter case, when using public Wi-Fi, you should first install a VPN and then access the net.

Mobile data on the other hand adds an extra layer of security since your mobile data connection is encrypted.

How Can You Track Mobile Data Usage?

You can keep tabs on how much mobile data or Wi-Fi you have consumed in a day by using apps like Check Data Usage. Here are some of its features –

Check how much data you have consumed on your Wi-Fi or Mobile Data

Run a speed test and check the speed of your data

Check data used by various apps on your smartphone

Set Data Plan by specifying the Plan Validity (in days), Data Limit, and Starting Date

Get a summary of old expired plans

How To Use Check Data Usage

1. Install Check Data Usage on your Android device

2. Permit usage access to the app by tapping on Give Permission option

3. Here you can tap on each section – Mobile (Mobile Data) or Wi-Fi and then check how much data is consumed app-wise

4. You can even set your daily internet usage limit by specifying the Plan Validity (in days), Data Limit, and Starting Date. For demonstration purposes, I have set the data limit to 1 GB per day. Once sure, tap on Yes

5. To check the speed of your internet (Wi-Fi or Mobile Data), select Wi-Fi or mobile data and tap on Run Speed Test

So, Is It Better To Use Wi-Fi or Mobile Data? Quick Reaction:

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