How to Secure Your Router (Updated for 2020)

As we isolate ourselves during the pandemic, we need to access our data remotely and securely. Many workers started using VPNs to protect their connections, but recently there have been security incidents where running a VPN wasn’t enough.

Using a VPN to access your network is a great start, but you need to consider other things to secure your end of the network connection.

Here are some steps you can take right away to secure your home router and secure your business network in the process:

Change the Router Name and It’s Password

Every router comes with a predetermined username and password, which is also printed on the device. Look at the label on your router to access your router settings. From there, change your username and password to something as long and complicated as possible.

Change the Name of Your Network

Your routers have a default name that tells hackers exactly what exploit they should use to get into your router. Change the name to avoid this; don’t use any personal information that criminals can use to identify you.

Change Your Network Password

Routers also have a predetermined network password, which is also printed on the router. Though the passwords themselves are relatively secure, you want to change them for maximum security.

Shut Off WPS

WPS (WiFi Protected Setup) lets you push a button, and you can connect a wireless device to the network without entering a password.

Experts claim that WPS isn’t fully secure, especially if people have physical access to your equipment. Remove this risk by shutting WPS off in your router settings.

Keep Your SSID a Secret

Most WiFi networks, by default, broadcast their IDs so you can scan for open WiFi connections. You can increase your router’s security by stopping the broadcast.

The downside is that no device will automatically detect the network, not even those that have connected to it before. You have to manually type in your router’s SSID to access your network.

Enable Your Firewall

Most rotors have a firewall built in that you can turn on or off. This firewall acts as a filter for data. It allows safe data while blocking unauthorized data from getting in. It’s not perfect, but you are safer with it on than off.

Keep Your Router Firmware Updated

Routers, like phones and computers, get updates sent to them to fix common problems, improve its features, and improve security. If your router has an auto-update feature, turn it on. If not, check at least once every few days for updates.

Ditch WPA and Use WPA2

Older routers use WPA, which is far more susceptible to hacking. Avoid WPA routers at all costs. Instead, use a router that uses WPA2, which is much more secure.

If your router doesn’t have WPA2, get rid of it and upgrade it immediately.

If your router has AES, use this alongside WPA2. The federal government uses this protocol to secure classified information. Any router made after 2006 should have AES as an option.

Filter MAC Addresses

Every device connected to your WiFi network has a MAC (Media Access Control) address, which acts as an ID for the device. Go into your router’s access control settings to set your connection only to allow devices with specific MAC addresses.

While in the control settings, you should see which devices are connected to your network. Use this control panel to confirm or deny access to your network as needed.

Follow These Steps to Make Your Router Security Virtually Bulletproof.

As we work from home until further notice, making sure every piece of your network is as secure as possible. Take these steps and turn your home network into a digital Fort Knox.