Routers sit quietly flashing away. Most of the time, routers are never given a second thought. But, not securing a router means setting yourself up for disaster. Standard router security methods are a good place to start. Extra security methods are even better. Think your router is secure? Be certain by going through these four additional router security steps.
1.\tExtra, Extra! Don’t Broadcast: did you know that your router might be broadcasting right now? As you sit and read this article, your router could be telling the world that it’s open and available. You can turn off broadcasting by visiting the Settings tab and searching for Broadcasting. From there, you can select the off option.
2.\tSay No To Guests: Router companies are kind. They want you to share your network with guests. While there’s nothing wrong with giving your friends the password to your network, leaving that default password setting in place is a recipe for disaster. Secure your guest network configuration by setting up an encrypted password. Then, dole out that password to friends, if you feel generous, that is.
3.\tKeep An Eye On Things: there are lots of network monitoring programs out there. You can even monitor a network from within a router program (some include this option). You don’t have to stay glued to your screen, but you can glance every once in awhile at your network to make sure that it’s secure. Or, you can opt for an app that will alert you if trouble is brewing. Should you notice that someone is using your network from the outside, be sure to reconfigure your password and settings.
4.\tSerious Password Encryption: do you know how easy it is to look up a standard router password? Just type the make and model of a router into Google. Within minutes, the default password for that router will pop up. So, why do you need a super encrypted password? In order to prevent people from using your network. Set up a password that’s alphanumeric, hard to guess, and entirely secure. Believe me, a default password is no way to secure your network.
Why Barring Outside Guests Is a Big Deal
We are taught as children to share. But sharing your network may mean unwanted suspicions. If your neighbor is sharing your network and participating in criminal activity, you may be mistakenly targeted. Many people allow guests to access a network, and that’s a really nice thing to do. Really, though, it’s a better idea to provide secret passwords to people you trust than to leave your network open.
Your network should be secure, password encrypted, and hidden from prying eyes. Following the steps listed above will prevent any unwanted usage, activity, or anything else that could cause a network security breach. How important is protecting your network? Think of it this way: not protecting your network is like providing the world with your credit card number. Even though your router sits on a shelf quietly working away, this one piece of hardware can become a major problem if not adequately secure.