Router is one of the most widely used device in this Internet era. Since most of the modern devices are configured to just plug n play, most users do the same with routers. Just plug the device and use the default settings that comes with it. If there is any change, it is usually the ones done by ISP to configure network.
There are two problems associated with using a Router default settings
- The default router settings are usually easy for a determined hacker to hack into. They can easily hijack data that is send across wirelessly.
- Unauthorized users can use your wireless settings. These unauthorized users need not be hackers, they may just be your neighbors eavesdropping and sharing your internet connection. Apart from the chance of getting hacked, sharing wireless can lead to slow wireless performance.
Here are the 3 simple steps to secure your router
Secure your router
By default, most routers comes with a username admin and password set as password itself (sometimes admin. It depends on the router manufacturer). You will have that information written in the documentation which comes with the router. If a well-informed miscreant get a chance to lay hand on your router, he can hijack your network by logging in using the default password and change it.
The first step is to secure your router. Most router manufacturers don’t allow changing the username, but you can change the password. Keep it something which is easy to remember, but tough to crack. Use an alpha numeric combination and special character to make it tough. For e.g. AnjanaM!328
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Once the wireless is configured, it is time to select the technology which allows for encrypting data. There are all sorts of technology such as WEP, WPA and WPA2.
When I bought my router with the latest technology at that time, it was using WPA for encryption by default. It is same for most of the latest routers. WEP is the oldest one. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) technology does allow fast encryption and data transfer, but it got enough loopholes for a determined hacker to hack into your system. WPA2 is the latest technology. The encryption is more secure and data transfer is also faster.
Confirm that you are using WPA2. Go to Router settings, select Wireless Settings, then select WPA2.
Configure a secure Wireless password
Make the password tough for a hacker to guess, but easy for you to remember. Use an alpha numeric combination with special characters. If needed use a password manager to remember your password.
A strong password prevents an unauthorized user from sharing your Wi-Fi. Sharing can slow down your wireless performance.
Keep Router updated
Router manufacturers periodically release updates. Keep it updated to patch security loopholes and improve the chip level performance.
If you have any suggestions to add, let me know.