Protecting our Routers and Networks

Most of us think about Cybercrime tend to worry viruses, phishing scams, accounts being hacked, or our devices being stolen. The Networks we all use are another way a criminal can access our data to commit crime.

How does the broadband work?

If you have Broadband services offered from domestic Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the UK, there are two different types of Modem, Cable or ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line.). Cable using optic fibre and ADSL use the standard telephone line which is copper wires.

There are several UK ISPs all use different modems and routers.

A modem converts the analogue signals from the cable or phone wire to digital signals (Modem stands for Modulator-Demodulator). The digital signals are sent to different devices by a Router. This is done via an Ethernet Cable or WiFi connection. Most ISP Broadband packages the Modem and Router are built into one device.

How do you set up your home network?

When you get Broadband your ISP provides instructions of how to set up your network and connect with Modem and Router to your devices and the phone or cable connection. If you do not have any information you check your ISP’s website or phone to find out about Protecting initial set up.

Every Modem/Router with have default factory settings to start with. It is important to check and change some of these setting before you start using your network. To do this you have to go the Administrator’s Control Panel.

On the back of the Router box there is usual a label showing the Admin Password and the WiFi Password.

The Admin Control Panel is access by connecting a computer to the Router opening a web browser and typing in the IP address. For example:

Tops Tips:

  • Get to know your ISP and Modem/Router
  • Change the Admin Password
  • Make sure the Firewall is turned on!
  • Set Parental Controls
  • Change WiFi SSID and Password
  • Create Guest WiFi login

The Admin Control Panel

Why change the Admin Password?

Your Admin Control Panel can be access from any computer connected to the internet if someone knows your IP address. Sometimes the default Admin password is easy to crack or is well known.

If someone can access your Network, they can access any device connected to your network, this means they can spy on you with webcams and steal valuable data like other passwords to emails and bank accounts.

What is a Firewall and why should it be always switched on?

The firewall prevents anyone access your network unless they have the right internet credentials. This can be IP addresses, devices, or passwords. The network firewall can allow exceptions for instance software update being the most common.

Note sometimes you must turn a firewall off when installing some antivirus software.

What are parental controls?

Parental controls allow the administrator to restrict internet searches to safe searching and block access to adult websites. It can also turn off access to certain devices at certain times such as bedtimes. With mobile devices it is not easy for parents to either supervise children 24 hours a day or prevent devices being smuggled into bedrooms.

What is the WiFI SSID?

When you log onto WiFi the SSID is the name of the WiFI Network. The default label will identify the ISP provider and network name is possible that default SSID and WiFI password might be known by someone passing by your home. It is a good ide to change this no matter how unlikely some would access your WiFi

You should make sure the WPA (Wireless Protected Access) is enable.

Creating a Guest WiFi

Many Routers allow setting up a Guest WiFi login this prevent a guest access your Home Network. This is useful if you have contractors in the house that need to access the internet while they are working in your home.

See the YouTube resources provided by Tech Videos

Managing Cybercrime Risk

The Cybercrime Prevention Hour has considered how risk management tools could be used to inform, raise awareness, and provoke discussion on how to control individual and corporate risks.

The approach to examine risk is simple; identify, assess and deicide. Risk threats have two components consequences or impact and likelihood or probability of occurrence.

Cybercrime Definition

Cybercrime RISK is the potential for a THREAT is a person or thing that is likely to cause damage to exploit a VULNERABILITY such as a flaw, feature or user error that may result in some form of negative IMPACT.

Vulnerabilities that expose us to Cybercrime

Cybercrime Vulnerabilities Venn Diagram showing sets: People, Devices & Networks

Introducing the Risk Assessment Matrix

Matrix with 6 columns: Risk item, risk impact, risk probability, overall risk assessment, risk control, and post control assessment.

The results using the Risk Assessment Matrix discussing different vulnerability domains can be then used to inform decision making. Whether a risk is taken or not, or an affordable or practical control, is initiated to give sufficient comfort and safety. Every individual or organisation will have different devices, software, networks, and behaviours to contend with there is no one solution for everyone however there are common themes.

Decision making

The final step if for dealing with risks is the decision making. As with all risks there are 4 choices; either take, avoid, treat, or transfer. The first two choices are obvious, and it is simply a question of chancing it or not, but sometimes we have no choice and are forced into doing something that is beyond our comfort zone that feels potentially risky. In this situation we try control the risk or limit possibility of things going wrong.

Treating or controlling risks is best understood by giving an example:

“I use my phone for everything if I someone stole it what would I do? If the phone were stolen it would have my address book, diary, email, social media accounts, and personal photos.”

Should use the phone and nothing else or should I risk it?

How can I treat or control the risk?

  • Keep the phone on me and only use in a safe place.
  • Use device security, fingerprint lock of face recognition.
  • Encrypt the storage.
  • Make sure I know all the account passwords or have them stored in a password manager I can access from another device.
  • Make sure I have backed up of the photos and documents onto a secure cloud storage.
  • Make sure I have the device SIM PUK code on file at home and get my mobile phone contract supplier to replace the SIM.

If I implement the 6 controls above, I can drastically limit the impact if I should be unlucky and get my phone stolen. All these measures I can do with no additional cost. Only the first point would reduce the likelihood of my phone being stolen.

If my device is expensive to replace, I could consider transfer the risk of the loss by buying some personal insurance against theft.”

Anyone wishing to attend future Cybercrime Prevention Workshops can book a free place at our Eventbrite page and find more information on the Cybercrime Vigilance Project web page.

Anyone can register has a student with GTT and request the free Cybercrime Assessment Matrix tools see the Student Area on our website.

The School of Metal Bashers Challenge

Aim: Become a student have an opportunity to learn some basic computer hardware skills so you can volunteer to help other by repairing and recycling old computers, repair their own equipment. If you live in the Bradford area this is an amazing opportunity to developing skills further in hardware repairs or building new computers.

Sessions are held online every week on a Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm for 12 weeks.

You will get old PC to practice and learning with, the ultimate challenge will be to bring it back to life!

Computer surgery Metal Bashers 2016 "It's Alive!"
Computer Surgery Metal Bashers 2016 – “It’s Alive! It’s Alive!”

What will you learn:

  • Learn what tools and equipment are needed to carry out basic computer repairs.
  • Identify hardware engineering risks and basic safety requirements
  • Identify the basic layout of a computers and its parts.
  • Know key basic electronic principles needed to understand how a computer works
  • Learn how to replace faulty parts and test computer operation by know some simple diagnostic techniques.
  • Learn how to research and procure replacement parts increase understanding and knowledge of manufacturers, interfaces, and compatibility.
  • Learn how to set up a new computer by installing an operating system practice using the BIOS and different Operating Systems.

What activities will you do:

  • Identify safety requirements: Tools, manual handling, hazardous substances, electrical hazards.
  • Identify electronics and hardware: Electronic and computer hardware components. Use Ohms and Power Laws.
  • Define and explain how digital technology works.
  • Identify ports and connectors. Connect a computer system and running a computer system.
  • Access and using the “BIOS”.
  • Creating and using software boot tools.
  • Accessing and using disk management tools including formatting and partitioning disk drives.
  • Diagnostic process, testing and observing results.
  • Looking at common faults.
  • Replacing faulty components.
  • Developing repair solutions and options.
  • Practical sessions
  • Sourcing spares and fitting problems.
  • Installing operating systems.
  • Using Windows and Linux operating systems.
  • Review and Evaluation.

For more information and registration visit the School of Metal Bashers Web Page.

World wide web: Peeking behind the scenes

Most of us are unaware of how the internet works we use and trust our technology to do the daily things we need when we need it. Beneath the surface there a servers, cables, wireless transceivers, software, and people keeping it all running. For Internet Service Providers (ISPs) reliability and safety are paramount to maintain customer confidence.

Vast numbers of people are involved in keeping up with criminals and other that are continuing to exploit vulnerabilities to financial or political gains. Being vigilant against cybercrime is like continual cold war between good and evil trying to outsmart the opposition.

Recently the news released information about weapon grade security tools being harvested by unknown criminals. This week the US Government security have announced that state agencies have been hacked using SolarWinds Orion network hacking tools.

Cybercrime Prevention Hour

The GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour were able to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes with guest speaker Iain Currie from BT.

A recording of the event is now available on the GTT You Tube Channel to be used as learning resource for our students.

If you would like to join a Cybercrime Vigilance project and attend one of our monthly workshops, please visit the GTT website project page and book your workshop place via the Eventbrite weblink.

BBC Website References:

Introducing the “Metal Bashers”

Get Technology Together working in partnership with Solidaritech is offering a practical computer repair course for adults that is free to anyone living in the Bradford MDC area. The course offers 12 weeks intensive practical work on how to strip down a computer and rebuild it.

The GTT volunteers made this video to show how School of Metal Bashers could work. This year because of the COVID pandemic GTT will doing much of the classroom activities online using the Zoom App and offering remote tutor support with emails, phone calls and video chats.

GTT Volunteers Video promoting the School of Metal Bashers

The course, starting January and February 2021 will be delivered in weekly online class video call, with a computer kit, online resources, and tutor support.


Enrol for the School of Metal Bashers now! CLICK HERE!

Learning about cybercrime together

What is Cybercrime Risk?

This month the GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour considered cybercrime risk. In conclusion Cybercrime risk is the potential threat of a person or thing that is likely to cause damage by exploiting a vulnerability (a flaw, feature or use error) that may result in a negative impact.

Coping with threats and dealing with our fears

Threats can be general like scam emails sent out in large quantities in the hope that recipients might respond or can be target specifically at you. Cybercrime has many different motives often money or data, but sometimes can be more sinister such as entrapment or revenge. Everyone seems to be bombarded with junk email and nuisance calls these days, and the workshop concluded it is good to share the burden, learn more about the threats we all face and get support together.

What are the vulnerabilities that expose us to cybercrime?

There are 3 areas to examine: Networks, Devices and People.

  • Everyone uses a network connection to access the internet whether that is via a LAN Cable, WiFi router or mobile data connection. Each method will have security built into the hardware, but not all of us know how to use it or have access to the security controls.
  • All digital devices have security built into their operating systems, making sure it is used, updated regularly as well as having it personal data backup are the basics of minimise risk.
  • The greatest potential for risk is ourselves, a lack of knowledge, forgetfulness, carefree or risky behaviours increases exposure to cybercrime threats. Or simply making a mistake which we are all prone to do many times in our lives.

Criminals rely on this. Hence the term “Phishing” scam emails are literally criminals fishing for people with hope to net an unsuspecting victim. Often posing as your ISP, PayPal, Apple, Microsoft, or Amazon suggesting there is a problem with your account or are offering a refund (“a carrot or stick”). The “hook” is the internet link in email which delivers the malware onto your device. If you click on the link you are “caught” and the damage is done.

If you want to learn more and help others please join the GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour held monthly for more information see the GTT Upcoming Events, Cybercrime Vigilance and Student Area on this website.

GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour

GTT launched the Cybercrime Vigilance project with the support of the West Yorkshire Police Community Safety Fund. GTT hosts regular monthly workshops to discuss, share information, and learn about cybercrime prevention. It is a continual challenge for everyone as new technology develops.

The aims of the GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour workshops will explore and collaborate to develop on going shared resources. GTT encourages everyone to Participate, Learn, Achieve, and Innovate together

  • What is Cybercrime? How do we identify cybercrime risks?
  • What impact does cybercrime have on victims?
  • Looking statistics and unreported crime, how common is cybercrime?
  • The fear of crime – how safe do we feel?
  • Managing behaviours and risk – How do I use my technology?
  • Review my risk controls – what I am doing? is it good enough? What should I be doing?
  • Training in good practice and developing good habits

It is free to join the workshop book a place by contacting GTT or via Event Brite.

The “New Normal” of Life Online – Be afraid or be confident, the choice is yours

How often do you hear people say things like this?

  • “I don’t mind going on the internet, but I am not banking or shopping online, I am frightened of losing my money.”
  • “I get so much junk and dodgy emails; I am sick of using my tablet.”
  • “I am worried about what my children are doing online, there are so many scary stories.”
  • “I have heard a lot about bullying and hateful things being said on the internet, I don’t want to be exposed to any of it.”

When you are frightened you often can not see the difference between FEAR and RISK. We can all be frightened, and it prevents us looking at the real risk or threat.

To avoid any irrational fear, you need to know whether you really have anything to worry about. How likely can something bad happen? What are the consequences of something bad happening?

In life when we overcome our fear or live through something terrible, we can reflect on this experience and sometime see the positive outcomes. I like to think of this has “the school of hard knocks”.

Since the COVID19 pandemic we have all been forced out of our comfort zone by doing more things online, whether that is work, schooling, meet friends, paying bills, arrange doctor’s appointments, shopping, and entertainment.

Get Technology Together (GTT) with the support of West Yorkshire Police Community Safety Fund has launched “Cybercrime Vigilance”, to help people understand the real threat to citizens living an online life today. GTT has been running community classes and help people get the most out their technology for many years, and has learnt that there are some simple rules to follow when being online that can dramatically reduce your risk to being a victim of crime. GTT is asking for you help to participate in exploring cybercrime threats to develop affordable strategies to help you and your family stay safe online. Please contact GTT if you want more information on how to be involved in “Cybercrime Vigilance”.

Drighlington Digital an Internet Café in your own home

It is a challenge to adjust to social distancing, which has become our “New Normal”, but thankfully technology can provide some solutions.  

Our popular group, Drighlington Digital, runs sessions to help people get the most out of their technology.  Usually they take place at the Methodist Church but at present the group is meeting online.  The group quickly adapted to the daily changes in our lives and started experimenting with online video calling such as Skype, Facetime, and WhatsApp.  The group uses Zoom, an App which was relatively unknown before we had a lockdown, to meet up online every Thursday from 10am to 12pm.  Zoom is easy to use, and many people can join in.

It is a friendly group, and everyone is welcome. To get involved you do need an internet connection in your own home, or enough data on your smartphone.   If you do not have a smartphone, tablet, or a laptop, please contact Get Technology Together on 07754 391498 and they may be able to lend you a laptop!

The group has been sharing tips about online shopping, entertainment, exercise, garden and decorating.  It is also a place to receive help with technical issues like setting up printers and connecting TVs and HiFi systems and even piano lessons!

Please feel free to come and share your technology woes and tips with us online. Everyone learns something new.  If you are concerned about nosey participants checking out your wallpaper or bookshelves you can play with different backgrounds on Zoom and even pretend you are on a sunny beach.

One of regular participants who lives alone said, “Getting familiar with video chatting online has changed my life since the lockdown.  I am in touch with family and friends several times a week”

After a few weeks everyone is relaxed and confident. Chatting online becomes very natural, in fact the “New Normal”.

Drighlington Digital now has a Facebook Page, if you are on Facebook please “Like” our page and find out more.

Using technology to manage a crisis

GTT has been forced to close many Digital Access Points as a result of the public health emergency in the UK. Tutors are working towards providing more support via telephone, email, VoIP, and social media groups. GTT tutors are getting together online to work how send out broadcast online.

Please check the calendar links on the website home page for the latest information about closures. In the meantime feel free to contact GTT via the contact page, telephone or email.

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