You probably use your home’s Wi-Fi router every day for everything from streaming to banking. So it’s important to make sure it’s secure.
Because your router is a gateway between your devices and the internet, anyone with access to it can exert a significant amount of control—which, if left unchecked, could cause a lot of problems.
Why securing your router is important
- At the lower end of the risk scale, someone could simply be using your Wi-Fi without your knowledge to stream or download content. This is annoying, as it could slow down your internet connection.
- More concerning is the possibility that someone could use your internet connection to conduct illegal activity. This could cause harm to others, and may also cause your ISP to flag your account and report you to the authorities.
- The worst case scenario is if someone were to gain full access to the router itself.
Your router can be used as an entry point into devices across your network, including your computer or smartphone. If an attacker were to gain access to your router, they could see what apps and services you’re using. Your traffic could be redirected to fake pages that steal your login credentials. They might install malware or even spy on you through cameras and microphones on your devices.
No matter what router you’re using, here are a few quick things you can do to make yourself more secure.
Tips for securing your router
- First, change the name and password for both the Wi-Fi network and the router itself.
- Many people never change the default login information on their router, making it easier to hack.
- Next, make sure your router’s software is up to date. You should be able to find the latest software on the router manufacturer’s website, along with instructions.
- Finally, disable remote access. If you don’t need to access your router while away from home, disable this option in your settings to prevent potential attacks from being able to access your router too.
- Alternatively, use a VPN router to add an extra layer of security to your network and protect your router from hackers and other malicious actors. A VPN router encrypts all internet traffic that passes through it, making it much more difficult for cybercriminals to intercept or steal your data.
If you suspect your router’s security has been compromised by malware, the best thing to do is to perform a factory reset to restore it to its original state and start fresh.
Read more: Guide: When and how to reset your router
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