Routers are not top of mind for most of us, but they should be!

It’s funny how most of us focus on keeping our devices such as our phones and computers secure, but don’t think about the router that we use in our homes and businesses to access the internet. It’s easy to forget about our routers because they are usually installed by which ever company we choose as our internet provider. This is why routers are an irresistible opportunity for Cyber attackers to exploit. It is something we often overlook as a security risk but in fact cyber attackers can do a lot of damage if they are able to gain access to your router.

If your router is not secure attackers can spy on your online activities, redirect your outgoing internet requests to malicious websites, infect any devices connected to your router, and they can use your router to launch cyber attacks on other networks without you knowing it.

The good news is that it is not hard to make changes to your router that will protect you and your business from these types of attacks. Here is a list of tips to check out on how you can proactively protect your router.

What you can do to stop attackers exploiting your router

  1. Change your default credentials – If you have an internet provider install your router, they will set up a default username and password for you. If you have not already done so, replace the default username and password for your router.
  2. Update Firmware – Firmware is a type of software that directly communicates and controls the router hardware you are using. Regularly check for and install firmware updates. There are different ways you can update your router so check out your internet service providers website and type in router updates to get the instructions for updating your specific router.
  3. Disable Remote Management – Turn off remote access to your router’s settings to reduce the risk of external attacks.
  4. Use Strong Encryption Passwords – Make sure your passwords are at least 15 characters in length with upper lower case and symbols. One trick is to pick your favorite song lyric and create a random password like this: “Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend” translates to: Karma!sT43Br33z3!nmyHa!r0nTheWeek3nd@
  5. Create a guest network – This is a smart thing to do for both your home and business.
  6. Monitor connected devices – Regularly check the list of devices connected to your network and remove any unauthorized devices.
  7. Use a Firewall – Ensure the router’s built-in firewall is enabled to block unwanted incoming and outgoing traffic.
  8. Change the default network name known as (SSID) – This will allow you to customize your Wi-Fi network to make it less identifiable.
  9. Regularly backup settings – Save a backup of your router’s settings in case you ever need to restore in the event of a security issue.

Kim Krushell