When it comes to the safety of your home network, you need to stay on top of any areas that could be potential targets. Hackers and information gatherers continuously find ways to gain access where they shouldn’t. You must do what you can to keep your data and network security.
Your router is a critical part of your home network, and it is often the first thing hackers target. Fortunately, there are many different settings you can change to keep the bad guys out. And there are also some straightforward safety tips that everyone should follow.
If you don’t secure your router, you risk having your internet settings changed, or worse — information stolen.
How to Disable Internet Access to Your Router
The exact instructions differ based on the router you use. But the main steps are as follows:
STEP 1. Access the web interface of your router. You should be able to do it on your browser, following the manufacturer’s instructions. It should start by typing the IP address of your router.
STEP 2. In the settings, find a section called “Remote Administration,” “Remote Access,” “Remote Management,” or similar. It may be a single line with a box for a checkmark.
STEP 3. Make sure the remote access is off. Uncheck the box or disable it.
STEP 4. Save your current settings.
More Ways to Secure Your Router (and Network)
Disable remote access to your router is only one of the things you can do to secure your network. Make sure to follow these tips too:
1. Start With a Strong Password
This point cannot be stressed enough — strong passwords are essential in everything these days. Long gone are the days of simple, easy to remember passwords. You must keep your passwords secure and far from guessable.
You can achieve this with imagination and memory or by using a premium password manager; there are many great choices online.
Regardless of your choice, don’t ever use the default username and password. Anyone can do a quick Google search to find out the defaults for any router on the market. It could be this easy for someone to gain control if you are unaware. So it’s imperative to change credentials right away to something much more secure.
2. Don’t Forget the Wi-Fi
You must also remember to create a robust password for your Wi-Fi as well. Like any other password these days, you need one that is near-impossible to guess, and, hopefully, completely random.
Also, make sure to choose WPA or WPA2 for your encryption method, as these are the two most secure methods available.
3. Use a Premium VPN Service
A virtual private network is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to any home network and its devices. It’s available as software for computers, smartphones, and IoT devices. And you can also set up a VPN on your router, all traffic goes through a virtual network, encrypting it and masking your location at the same time.
You can try out a number of different services with a VPN free trial before committing to a monthly fee.
4. Keep Everything Updated
A lot of programs and apps automatically install updates as they become available. But it may not be the case with your router. You want to make sure to check with the manufacturer on a regular basis to see if any firmware is available.
There is never a large amount of support for lower-end routers, as they keep producing newer ones, but you may find some patches available.
5. Turn Off UPnP
Universal Plug-n-Play is terrific in theory, yet there have been a lot of security flaws pointed out over the years. It is a way to automatically forward ports to other networks you are connecting to. Unfortunately, leaving this enabled, which is the default, leaves you vulnerable to outside attacks. It is always recommended to manually forward ports as you need to.
Keep Your Router Secure
There are too many ways that potential criminals can gain access to personal information these days. It is crucial to secure your router, and thus the rest of your home network. By following a few of these tips and using your common sense, you can rest assured that your home router is safe.