Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Every few months, we hear about a massive data breach or cyberattack on a brand as familiar to us as our favorite team mascot. From the massive breach at Yahoo! (up to 3 billion accounts exposed) to the smaller but perhaps more saddening one at the Veterans’ Administration, we know that cyberattacks are real. Viruses and malware, denial-of-service attacks and data breaches, ransomware and phishing and spear phishing — these and other such digital dangers exist far, far away from our own network channels and devices. We believe this.
Our homes? No, that’s not where cyberattacks occur.
But, as far back as 2011, we learned that cyberattacks could, however distantly, hit us at home. That year, the hacker collective Anonymous cracked Sony’s PlayStation Network, collecting as many as 77 million users’ names, emails, credit card numbers and home addresses. Afterward, Sony offered one year of identity theft protection free for all affected game players. As one expert wrote several years after the attack, “Watching the PSN hack unravel from the sidelines and seeing Sony pick up the pieces, I can't remember another event to affect so many gamers simultaneously and — at the time, at least — cause so many to worry for their own details' safety.”
That was before the “Internet of Things.” Before internet-enabled video surveillance in unexpected places such as Ring doorbells. Before applications loaded onto smartphones could unlock our Buicks, even start the engine. Before speaking a name into the air began a buying process that ends when goods arrive on our porches — even, in some test areas, allow deliverers into our kitchens.
Let’s talk about online safety.
Kinetic Secure is Windstream’s new home network security bundle — home network protection designed for a vastly more connected space than the one you lived in just a few years ago. Like your home or any secured space in real life, Kinetic Secure is layered protection across devices, your wireless modem and your network connection — protection against identity theft, faulty equipment and human error.
We are living in a thrilling, scary time! Imagine, the physical world isn’t the only place we “live.”
At a minimum, as it pertains to our inner sanctum, let us be at least mindful of home network security. Let’s take advantage of all of the peace of mind we can buy, especially when it’s as affordable as a lunch tab for one, at a drive-thru.
One of the most profound technologies of the early 2000s, Wi-Fi initially was celebrated for the way that it mobilized our laptops. Today, it powers everything from television viewing to wristwatches and refrigerators. These previously “analog” technologies now monitor, communicate and compute real-time data, both externally and online, for our consumption and the company’s.
Wi-Fi network security is not top-of-mind, but it poses the very real risk that a sophisticated thief could comb our online interactions simply by gaining access. They could mine sensitive personal information in order to facilitate a fraud or cyberattack such as network sniffing, a Man-in-the-Middle scam or more direct online fraud.
A Wi-Fi network security failure could conceivably lead to a physical breach of our very homes.
Unlike a physical cable, your Wi-Fi connection is invisible and omnidirectional. Likely, it exceeds the bounds of the physical property. While your ISP is charged with security at the “gate” you use to access the network, you alone are responsible for your Wi-Fi network.
Would you like to share that responsibility?
Kinetic Secure is a substantial evolution aimed at a more robust, enhanced internet protection that provides endpoint as well as gateway (modem) security. These next-generation build-ins provide additional features including enhanced parental controls and mobile device management — all paired with Kinetic’s new Wi-Fi management product and mobile app, MyWIN.
A true “mom and pop shop” doesn’t require an office manager or workflow system because “mom and pop” manage duties just swell, but, as the business expands, workflow itself begins to demand attention.
Now, imagine a house with more than one user and an ever-growing number of different internet-connected devices. Home network protection becomes a line item.
Savvy internet users, especially any who plan to expand their connections to smart speakers, lighting, doorbell and security products, appliances and others, will want Kinetic Internet Security and Internet Security On-the-Go, two of the advanced features that headline Kinetic Secure.
Kinetic’s Internet Security and Internet Security On-the-Go suites have been developed in partnership with global cybersecurity leader F-Secure. Sophisticated hackers, while they may be rogue actors, are numerous, and global. Internet service providers must work closely with internet security protection software developers to bring home network protection to bear. This partnership ushers Kinetic customers into Wi-Fi network security that’s as reinforced as Kinetic Gig Internet is fast.
Key to any home network security bundle in 2020 is an operable interface on our portable devices — our smartphones and tablets. Kinetic Secure is controlled by way of the Windstream MyWin app, mobility developed not strictly for its convenience. A pillar of internet protection today is two-factor authentication — the application of both memorization and a second lead over a device in the possession of an authentic user. A passcode may get deployed over any network, but a second authenticator sent to a mobile device or email account in conjunction with a memorized code is harder to crack.
Internet Security and Internet Security On-the-Go is a robust home network security product that offers endpoint security, as well as security at the gateway — your wireless modem — thereby providing additional functionality that includes enhanced parental controls and device management.
For parents, control means adding or removing devices from the network, setting screen time limits, setting bedtimes, monitoring and excluding particular sites, and putting Wi-Fi on pause altogether. Because this operability takes place on the MyWin app, parental control is a touch away.
In addition, Kinetic Internet Security users can access real-time location data, view all connected devices and their internet usage, and remain protected from online threats.
In a beta test customer survey of features, security ranked first among Kinetic users, followed closely by identity theft protection and 24/7/365 technical support.
Along with internet protection on the go to protect against malware and viruses, and an app to monitor threats, connected devices and consumption, Kinetic Secure has added services to the bundle both digitally and carbon-based.
One is identity theft protection from partner Credit Guard. This benefit monitors and protects against fraudulent use of your information, credit history or other identifying characteristics. With identity theft protection, Kinetic Secure subscribers know when they make purchases or borrow money they’re protected against fraud damage.
With Whole Home Agent, they have access to certified technical advisors 24 hours a day, every day, even holidays, for up to 10 internet-connected devices.
A wireless router is quickly becoming the most important device in any home, whether you live in a walkup in the city or a wood-frame bungalow in the country, whether you’re raising a young family or enjoying an empty nest, or the single life! It’s the access to our wider world of entertainment and work, commerce and security. Unfortunately, it can be others’ unwanted access to us. Wi-Fi network security may become a favorite target of cybercriminals.
Let’s make it a tough one to crack. Take that security on as a responsibility no different than insurance or retirement planning. And, like those, we would do well to seek professional help from a trusted source — a service provider who sees in us an investment as precious as the one we see in our own homes.