How to Protect Your Router from Malware

How do you protect your router from malware?

First let’s get to the basics: What is a router?

In layman’s terms, a router is a device that transmits data from one network to another. In other words, it directs and redirects internet traffic. If you have internet service from either AT&T, Verizon, or Xfinity, you receive a “box” which connects your home or office network to the internet via ethernet cables or Wi-Fi.

In a different article, we mentioned just how vulnerable small to mid-sized homes and businesses are to cyber-attacks including malware. According to a new study, over 70% of them will become targets of cybercriminals at some point. Your router plays a critical role in ensuring your network survives or repels this attack. Here are a few ways to protect your router from malware and other cyberattacks:

  1. Change your network password regularly

When you purchase your new router or acquire one from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), a password is required. One of the best ways to protect your router from malware and hackers is to change this password frequently. Also, create a password that is extremely hard to guess.

Do you change your router’s password regularly?

Hopefully, the answer is yes. Today’s cybercrooks are highly sophisticated. In order to protect your router from malware, you need to protect your router against malware.

To summarize, here’s how to change the password:

  1. Enter your router’s IP address on your browse (some routers have it written in the back but this is increasingly uncommon).
  2. Enter your user id and password. Generally, the default user id is ‘admin’ and the password is ‘password’ for most routers. You can check the back of the device to verify it once.
  3. Once logged in, visit the settings tab. Click on Change Password
  4. Enter your username and old password, and then set a new password of your choice.
  5. Click Save/Modify depending on your router
protect your router from malware
A router is critical to your overall network. To safeguard the integrity of your network, protect your router against malware
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2. Change the name of your Wi-Fi network (SSID)

To increase the security of your router and your Wi-Fi network, ensure you give the network a unique name so that it is hard to decipher. Here’s how you can do it.

1. Enter the router’s IP address in your browser’s address bar. You can look for it at the back of your device or on the user guide that comes with the box.

2. Enter your login and password.

3. On the router settings page, go to Wireless

4. On the specified table, enter a name for your network.

5. Click Save/Apply

3. Hide or disguise your network

Hiding your Wi-Fi network is a great way to protect your router from malware. Here’s how:

1. Enter the router’s IP address in your browser’s address bar. You can look for it at the back of your device or on the user guide that comes with the box

2. Enter your login and password.

3. On the router settings page, go to Wireless → Wireless Basics

4. Uncheck the Enable SSID Broadcast checkbox.

5. Click Save/Apply

Another way to hide your network is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Opting to use a VPN has long been known to offer one of the best ways to protect your router from malware and other cyber attacks.

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