If you want to learn how to improve the security of a router and avoid cyberattacks, keep reading. A router is a fundamental part of the network infrastructure of a home or small office. There are ways to make it way more secure this is why we have created this guide for you.
How to improve the security of a router and avoid cyberattacks?
If you have recently contracted a new Internet service, your operator has recently installed a new wireless router, you are going to change it for a third party router or expand it with additional access points, we recommend you invest a few minutes to perform some tasks that can save you a lot of headaches in the future, ensuring proper operation and above all increasing the security of these devices.
Update the firmware
The router has a set of operating instructions and tools stored on a memory chip inside the device. Firmware updates are fairly stable and therefore infrequent, but it is advisable to update them because you don’t know how long the router has been on the carrier’s shelves. In addition, there are internal vulnerabilities in firmware and exploits specifically targeted against this chip.
Change the default login
The easiest access to the router is through a web interface via its access IP address (192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1 or similar). Almost all routers of the same make or model have a specific username/password programmed to facilitate access to the router.
This type of access is common knowledge and is usually as simple as the well-known “admin/admin”. Therefore you need to change the password as soon as possible to prevent unauthorized access to the router.
Set a secure Wi-Fi password
Just like the access password, to improve the security of a router it is essential to change the default password. There are still many people that use less secure protocols and passwords that can be easily known. Or the information is placed on a sticker on the router itself within reach of third parties who have physical access.
All current routers (or Wi-Fi access points) support strong encryption such as WPA3 or WPA2. These are the protocols that we should use. As for the password, you know, there is no point in using a strong protocol if we use our dog’s name. Combine uppercase, lowercase, symbols, and numbers.
Change the SSID or hide it
The Service Set Identifier is a name included in all wireless network packages. With a maximum of 32 alphanumeric characters, it refers to the name of our wireless network or others that are within the range of a device or computer. The name included by default, usually gives away the model and manufacturer, something that we should not reveal either.
In addition to changing its name, the configuration of the routers allows the option to hide this SSID to prevent it from being shown as a wireless network. There are special programs that can track it but it is a recommended option.
Manage MAC addresses
Each device that can connect to a network is assigned a unique identifier in the form of a number called a MAC address. It is hard-coded into the production of each device and cannot be changed. This allows us to control exactly which devices can (or cannot) access our network and is another important aspect of improving the security of a router.
Most of these devices offer this MAC address filtering feature. You can block specific devices or create a list of only those devices that can connect. The MAC address of each device is easily recognizable with the “ipconfig” command on Windows, Mac, or Linux. On Android, iOS, or Windows Phone devices, you can see it in the advanced Wi-Fi settings.