10 Simple Steps to Secure Your Home Router and Protect Your Home (Guest Post)
How to secure your router, home network
by Quinn Wilde
The world we live in is constantly developing its technology, even as you’re reading through this text. Companies are continuing to provide fast and reliable network competition ranging from 5G to 150mb/s Wi-Fi router at your home. But have you thought of looking over reliable protection from such technology before accessing them?
Unlike phone networks, Wi-Fi has the ability to pass through the wall. You might have your friends coming over and having fun on a device where you have given passwords. You must know you have a high risk of internet leakage, i.e. people who know you or are nearby can potentially connect to your network by figuring out the passwords. As a demonstration, you can visit this page to help gain access to routers, modems, etc. safely. While we are at it, let’s look at the best solutions and tips on keeping your home and Wi-Fi safe.
Here are some things to consider in order to know if at you are at risk:
- You need to know who can get connected to your network.
- You must see the signal footprints of outsiders who can actually steal data from cameras or passwords for anything related with the router.
So, here are some preferable settings to make:
1. Make an HTC (Hard To Crack) Password
Say, for example, your neighbor’s kid came to see your kid and borrowed the password. That kid may say it to his parents, who could, in theory, put your home network in the hands of your neighbor. The same kid might invite friends to his house and use your system. It’s best to make a password with numbers, letters, symbols in a mixed definition of uppercase and lowercase. Better yet, randomly generate the password to take yourself out of the equation.
Ideally, once the password is entered, the kid won’t be able to remember the password to say to the others. A password may range from 12-20 characters long (or more in some cases), but the harder it is for a human to guess, the better. You might as well save the password to your phone or to whichever device you're currently using so that you won't have to share it or risk anyone else seeing it.
In the present day, password managers like LastPass, KeePass, and Bitwarden are quite a bit more popular as well. Not only can they remember and encrypt your passwords for you, but they also have the ability to randomly generate them, and thus someone who knows you would be less likely to guess your password offhand. For example, Bitwarden uses the password generator below:
2. Set Up Limitations
Learn to say no! Not everyone needs a connection with your Wi-Fi. For instance, if a carpenter or a cleaner comes to your home, they clearly do not need it, and you must be prepared to refuse it. Even if you have commercial workers, be cautious; jobs like this are often used as covers for stealing personal information. If someone does need to use your Wi-Fi, type in the password yourself and don't let them see it. Also, if you suspect or confirm that someone has stolen your password, change it immediately!
3. Change Your Network SSID (Wireless Network Name) Settings
All networks are identified by service set identifier (SSID), and there is always the possibility of hackers lurking around for untouched SSIDs. With the SSID in their possession, they have the ability to take total control over the network, as well as the devices connected to it. You must also change the credentials (admin details) by providing a unique password and two-step verification. The default password is the password provided for you when you first set up the network. So anyone with the password can change credentials on a whim, which can result in overbilling and other undesired consequences. Devices with default passwords are some of the ones that get cracked frequently.
4. Decrease The Range Of The Network
Your Wi-Fi doesn’t need to cover your neighborhood; you should go into your network settings and decrease the range to only the scale of your home. And you can always block your Wi-Fi from sending out identifiers. By doing that, your network is hidden from devices except for those you’ve already configured to access it. You can also temporarily allow access when you are connecting to a new device. Your visitors will not ask your password when they can’t see you on their search pages.
5. Turn Off Remote Management
A standard router setting allows any device to take control of remote management, which means you can access the management from anywhere in the world. It can be useful if you are a frequent traveler and have to leave in a hurry. Theoretically, you could also secure a network from a different place, but unfortunately, this leaves the network open to anyone who might want access to it. So the best call is to turn it off!
The process of doing this varies between different internet providers and routers, so you can look up instructions for your specific router if you want to turn it off.
6. Limit WPS
WPS (Wi-Fi protected setup) offers two ways to add devices: firstly, there is a manual button behind your router, which gives a signal and connects to your device directly. Secondly, there is an 8 digit code setup; this code is a very vulnerable mode of connection. While doing this, there is a high risk of losing access to the credentials. This code is said to be easy to crack. So as you may have already guessed, you turn it off!
As with remote management, the process of turning it off varies between different routers, so Google instructions that pertain to your router and internet provider for the specifics.
7. Update Your Firmware
Usually, your system will remind you to update your firmware. Depending on your OS and how it’s set up, these reminders may come at different times, but it’s always good to do the updates whenever they’re recommended. Ideally, you should do these updates weekly, or whenever the next update becomes available. A hacker usually goes after targets when he sees a security flaw, so enabling all possible security updates lessens the likelihood that you’ll be one of these targets.
8. Make sure to turn off your router
Photo credit: Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk
Suppose your router is dormant, such as when you sleep. You can switch off the router and unplug it to avoid misfires or wire shots. Routers can consume a lot of electricity and increase your bill, so switching it off not only helps you, but also your local power supply units. This also serves as a security warning because when you’re out to work, for example, your neighbor or even a random stranger might piggyback on (steal) your network connection, which can result in some unauthorized charges on your monthly bill. This is also another instance in which having a stronger password, as in step one, helps.
9. Warning 32764
Port 32764 is said to be an open port in major routers, which makes it vulnerable for anyone to crack with just their smartphones. You can see if your port is open at SerComm and other sites; if it’s open, you need to contact your operator for help on this issue (unless you're able to do it yourself).
10. An Antivirus A Day Keeps The Hacker Away
Computers and smart gadgets at home can also be targets, especially if they are vulnerable to viruses and other forms of malware, which can be encountered practically anywhere on the internet. Your home devices may be less likely to get affected, but have you considered your work laptop? Some antivirus programs require a yearly subscription, while others are free or freemium. The paid programs have more features, but if you can’t afford this, programs like Avast or AVG have free versions that can at least give you some basic protections.
While nothing is effective 100% of the time, if you follow these basic steps, they decrease the likelihood that you’ll be the victim of an attack. Frequently update your security and firmware, reduce your network range, use an antivirus (if needed), etc. If you're unsure as to whether your devices are vulnerable in any of these areas, there are many online tests you can use to check! Even though some security protocols may seem like an annoyance at first, they help prevent intrusions in the long run.
There are other aspects to this as well, so in the future, expect to see more tutorials in this field!