If your router (aka ‘firewall’) is vulnerable to cyber-attack then your whole system is at risk. This article explains why it is vital that you change the default password on your Internet router, and how to do it. By doing so, you will have taken the most fundamentally important step to secure both your home and your business network.
Anyone with access to your router can gain access to your network. They can open back doors to your system and unless you are checking your router on a regular basis you will be unaware. With this kind of access an attacker can wreak havoc.
Default passwords are weak and can be found on the Internet in moments. By changing them and making them strong you will foil attacks that seek to discover your password by repeatedly trying to log in to your router.
Find Your Router
On most networks, your router is also your ‘default gateway’. Find it as follows:
- Open a command prompt and type the command ‘ipconfig’.
- Make a note of the Default Gateway IP address.
- Open a browser and type the IP address into the address bar.
- You should be prompted with a log in screen.
- Login with your admin username and password.
Create a Secure Password
Once you have access to your router, find the option to change your admin password. The menu system should be self-explanatory. If not, find the specific device model from a label on your router itself and do a Google search.
This is the standard advice for creating strong passwords. You end up with a long, complicated password that’s hard to remember so make sure you record it somewhere safe. I’d strongly recommend a password manager such as LastPass.
The advice highlighted here is just one small part of the measures needed to protect yourself and your business from the risk of a cyber-attack.
If you are serious about preventing a cyber breach, you must implement the 34 recommendations outlined in the independent recommendations of Cyber Essentials. If you haven’t heard of Cyber Essentials then find out here what it is, how it protects you and where to start.
If you aren’t sure how secure your business system is then talk to your IT Supplier. For a list of the essential questions to ask them read ‘7 Security Questions to Ask Your IT Supplier’.