NSA shares guidance on how to secure your home network


The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has issued guidance to help remote workers secure their home networks and defend their devices from attacks.

The guide published by the Defense Department’s intelligence agency on Wednesday includes a long list of recommendations, including a short list of highlights urging teleworkers to ensure their devices and software are up to date.

Remote workers are also advised to back up their data regularly to prevent data loss and to disconnect equipment they’re not using if it doesn’t require an active Internet connection at all times.

To remove non-persistent malware if one of your devices gets infected, you should also reboot them frequently or schedule a restart to further minimize this risk.

“At a minimum, you should schedule weekly reboots of your routing device, smartphones, and computers. Regular reboots help to remove implants and ensure security,” the NSA said.

Other best practices include using a non-privileged user account on your computer, enabling automatic updates whenever possible, and covering webcams and disabling microphones when not using them to block eavesdropping attempts via compromised devices or malware.

NSA home network security tipsHome network security tips (NSA)

​Use your own router and keep it updated

The NSA also recommends using a personal router that should be kept up-to-date over the standard ISP-provided modem or router, which might not receive regular security updates.

“Your router is the gateway into your home network. Without proper security and patching, it is more likely to be compromised, which can lead to the compromise of other devices on the network as well,” the NSA said.

“To minimize vulnerabilities and improve security, the routing devices on your home network should be updated to the latest patches, preferably through automatic updates.”

Routers should also be replaced as soon as or before they reach their end-of-life date to ensure they keep receiving security patches to address recently discovered vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit in network breach attempts.

Previously, the NSA also provided tips on securing wireless devices, voice or video communications, and IPsec Virtual Private Networks, as well as reducing location tracking risks.

“In the age of telework, your home network can be used as an access point for nation-state actors and cybercriminals to steal sensitive information. We can minimize this risk by securing our devices and networks, and through safe online behavior,” NSA Cybersecurity Technical Director Neal Ziring said today.


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