Router/WiFi Security Tips
We all have a part to play in beating cyber crime, and this begins within our home. A great starting point is to review your router security - the heart of every home internet connection.
- Make sure you change the passwords and usernames for any administrator and default accounts you use in your home (including routers, computers, Internet of Things devices). NOTE: do not change the network username and password that has been set up on your broadband router by MT as doing so will result in you not being able to get online.
- Use strong, unique passwords Passwords should be strong and unique. A strong password uses a combination of numbers, letters and special characters and is should be over 8 characters long. The longer the better. There is a lot of advice available on choosing a strong password – consider using three or more random words to create a password of over 12 characters. Do not reuse the same password for multiple accounts.
- Make sure router firewalls are turned on Most modern routers have built in firewalls to help protect you. Ensure these are turned on by login into your router as an administrator and reviewing the settings.
- Activate network encryption WPA2 or WPA3 if available. Wireless traffic can be encrypted by your router. Choosing industry standard encryption will help protect your data. Do not use Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)
- Change the default name of your network (SSID) This doesn’t necessarily make your router any more secure however, a router with a default network name may indicate to a potential hacker that it is poorly configured and vulnerable.
- Ensure remote router access is turned off Some routers come with the option to be able to connect to the router remotely. If this is available it is safer to ensure this is switched off.
- Keep router software up to date Just like all software you should make sure your router is running the latest version. This will ensure security updates and patches are applied to your router.
- Ensure only people you trust can connect to your network. Most modern routers allow you to create Guest WiFi networks that will allow a guest to connect to the internet without being able to access any devices in your home network. If you use this option ensure these networks are set up correctly with strong passwords.
- Change the default IP address - This is the address you type in to access your routers settings. Changing this obviously makes it harder for hackers who will know the default addresses shipped with routers.
- Use a VPN - When connecting outside the home and using public WiFi, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). This essentially routes your connection through a trusted server rather than through the open public network.