This next bit is a little more “involved,” but it is pretty straight forward and something that almost no one in society seems to practice for some reason. You might be surprised to know that your internet router is completely unsecured straight from the company/manufacture, and the user name and password needed to physically access the routers settings is usually uniform. For example, here is the username and password for nearly every Comcast issued internet router, one of the US’s largest internet service providers.
User Name: admin
As you can imagine, this is not exactly rocket science for anyone to figure out or crack, so you are going to want to encrypt your individual internet router by setting up your own password for it. You can find your routers unique IP Address by opening cmd and typing in “ipconfig/all” – then looking under “default gateway.” Next you are simply going to want to open your web browser and type in that number/IP Address into the URL and press enter, where you will be prompted to sign into your routers log in page. If you do not already know this information beforehand, you can find your routers default log in credentials by simply entering a Google search for it or calling your internet service provider.
Highlighting just how much of a priority router security should be for you, the fact that your routers login is publicly listed on the internet and the login is the same for every customer should tell you all that you need to know. Moreover, despite what your ISP might ask of you, this is also why you should never use your personal router as a free and public hotspot. For example, if you are using your router as a hot spot and have not changed your default login credentials first, then theoretically any person using that hotspot could access and corrupt your router using the same information I just provided above – it’s literally that easy. This includes gaining access to information like the IP Address of any/all devices which has ever connected to the internet through that router.
With that out of the way, once you have logged in and are messing around with your routers settings, you can do things like set up a new password for it, white-list selected devices allowed to access and strengthen the routers firewall. Another advanced security tip is to disable your router from publicly broadcasting your internet signal. To do this, simply have a look under settings and disable the “SSID broadcast” feature.
To understand why this is important, have you ever clicked on your devices Wi-Fi button to see all of the available networks in range around you – particularly in a large urban area? Unless you live way out in the country, in addition to your own, I ‘m sure you are used to seeing all of your neighbors wi-fi connections. Disabling the SSID broadcast feature on your router will prevent your network from being picked up by everyone else in your neighborhood, keeping your connection hidden, secret and more secure. After-all, if no one knows your network connection is out there then no one is going to be looking to mess around with or exploit it.
Now that you know all of this information, you might also want to start warning all of your neighbors/friends now too 😉