Use a firewall – and not that ISP provided one!
If you’re in business, even if your business is a “from home” operation, then you should consider upgrading your home firewall to a business grade system. This can also go for the office too, many businesses are using home-grade equipment within their place of work. To enhance your security, stop this now.
Whilst most, if not all ISP provided equipment comes with a built-in firewall, it will often be basic at best.
What does the firewall do? Many people will be familiar with the role of a firewall these days, but for those who are not, it’s essentially the gatekeeper for your network.
It maintains a list of rules about what is and is not allowed to pass through, in and out of your network. If you’re not on the list, you’re not passing through. A bit like a grumpy bouncer outside a busy nightspot.
For business use, having visibility of what is going in and out of your network is very useful, as is having more control over it all. Especially if you have guests visit your business who make use of your broadband.
As I mentioned earlier, the firewall will usually sit between your devices and the internet, blocking anything that should not be allowed to connect to or from the internet.
You can also possible to set up firewalls to keep separation between internal systems, for example, separating customer devices from the business devices or smart speakers and other smart devices from your computer systems and financial systems like point-of-sales devices.
This is not necessary for most smaller businesses or specifically people working from home, however, it may be a helpful feature to separate “Working from Home” devices from “home” devices such as Smart TV’s, games consoles, smart home equipment and so on.
Other firewalls which can be enabled free of charge include your personal firewalls on your devices themselves. Windows Defender Firewall is usually enabled by default and MacOS usually requires that you manually turn on the firewall.
If you take one thing away from this article, it’s that Firewalls are good and good firewalls are great.