Improperly configured software errors or interfaces can make your home router a gateway to hackers. here is ten Security tips that users should definitely take into account when setting up their home network.
Once the router is set up, the little box is often quickly forgotten – unless the Internet suddenly fails or there is a problem.
It is worth checking the security settings of your home network from time to time. Because if you neglect router security, you are putting your entire home network at risk.
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Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities to infect connected computers, smartphones or smart home devices and add them to a bot network, for example.
Thus, unbeknownst to the owners, home networks become spam and virus launchers, hubs for encryption or starting points for telephone and Internet fraud.
So the Federal Bureau of Information Security (BSI) has published a guide for more router security. On the BSI for Citizens website, the authority offers advice on how consumers can protect their home WLAN from attackers.
Although there is no absolute certainty. But each user can significantly improve protection against misuse of their Internet and telephone connections by following the 10 tips below:
1. Keep your operating system up to date
The router also has an operating system. Updates bring new features and patch security holes. Therefore, if possible, you should activate automatic updates in the router menu or regularly check for updates on the router settings page.
2. Turn off remote access
For example, many routers offer to connect hard drives connected to the Internet. This handy feature can be a point of attack and should be disabled in the settings menu, as with any unused router feature. Indicates if remote access options are active on the router and what are the options to access them Security testing of the specialized portal “Heise Online”.
3. Configure the wireless router via a wired connection
Even if it is more practical via WLAN, you should connect your PC to the router via LAN or USB cable for setup before first startup and for all maintenance work.
4. Change WiFi password instantly
Preset WiFi passwords are not secure, they can be guessed and cracked. Therefore, users must set their own complex password of at least 20 characters.
If it is not changed, then there is a risk that attackers will read the password specified by the manufacturer, for example with the help of special applications. When making changes, you should also check that WPA2 secure encryption is activated.
5. Change the administrator password
The password used to access the device’s sensitive settings menu is often the same for many or all routers from one manufacturer. Or password protection is not activated. Here it is necessary to set an individual and secure password.
6. Change the network name
Users must give their WLAN a new network name (SSID) because the default name often contains the name of the manufacturer and type of device, which attackers can exploit if the vulnerabilities are not patched.
The new SSID should have nothing to do with the owner of the Internet connection, that is, it should not contain any first name, last name, street, location or anything similar.
7. Call the settings menu via https
The router menu can be called up through any browser by entering the address specified by the manufacturer – for example 192.168.2.1 or “fritz.box” – in the address line.
However, you must ensure that the list is called over a secure connection. This can be recognized by the abbreviation “https”. To be on the safe side, you should not open any other websites while making the settings.
8. Turn off WPS PIN
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a standard for encrypted WLAN setup. However, a WPS that has a PIN that can be read from a label or screen on the device can be quickly broken and should be turned off.
9. Don’t leave WiFi 24/7
The security principle is simple but effective: disable the WLAN when it is not needed – for example at night, when you are away for a long time or on vacation. Because what is not connected cannot be attacked. Many routers offer practical timers in the settings menu.
10. Browse safely on the go
With free Wi-Fi, users can now browse public places in many places, for example in hotels, cafes or supermarkets. But be careful if several similar entries appear in the list of available networks.
Computerbild warns of this. Scammers can display their own hotspots with these names in order to obtain passwords or other private data by confusing them. So it is better to ask the provider for the correct WLAN name.
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