Securing your router is an important step in protecting your home network from unauthorised access and potential security threats. Here are 12 key steps you can take to enhance the security of your router:
12 Steps to Secure Your Router
- Change the default login credentials: The default username and password for routers are often well-known and can be easily exploited by attackers. Access your router’s administration settings and change the default login credentials to unique and strong ones.
- Update your router’s firmware: Regularly check for firmware updates provided by the manufacturer. Router firmware updates often include security patches and bug fixes that help protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Use a strong Wi-Fi network password: Create a strong and unique password for your Wi-Fi network. Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using common or easily guessable passwords.
- Enable network encryption: Ensure that your router is using a strong encryption protocol, such as WPA2 or WPA3. This encrypts the data transmitted between your devices and the router, making it more difficult for attackers to intercept and decipher your network traffic.
- Disable remote management: Remote management allows you to access and configure your router from outside your home network. It’s generally recommended to disable this feature unless you specifically require it, as it can be a potential security risk.
- Enable a firewall: Most routers have a built-in firewall that can help filter and block unauthorised access attempts. Enable the firewall on your router to provide an additional layer of protection.
- Change the default network name (SSID): The default network name (SSID) of your router often reveals the manufacturer or model, which can make it easier for attackers to target specific vulnerabilities. Change the SSID to a unique name that doesn’t disclose any personal information.
- Disable WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup): WPS can be susceptible to brute-force attacks, allowing unauthorised users to gain access to your network. Disable WPS in your router’s settings.
- Use MAC address filtering: Each device has a unique MAC address. Enable MAC address filtering on your router and specify which devices are allowed to connect to your network by adding their MAC addresses to an approved list.
- Enable guest network: If your router supports it, consider setting up a guest network for visitors. This isolates their devices from your main network, providing an extra layer of security.
- Regularly review connected devices: Check the list of devices connected to your router’s network and ensure they are all recognised and authorised. Remove any unfamiliar or suspicious devices.
- Disable unnecessary services: Review your router’s settings and disable any unnecessary services or features that you don’t use. This reduces potential attack surfaces and minimises security risks.
By following these steps, you can significantly improve the security of your router and your home network. Remember to also keep all your connected devices, such as computers and smartphones, updated with the latest security patches to maintain a robust network security posture.