How to Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Router – .

How to Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Router – .

TORONTO – How secure is your Wi-Fi router?

When it comes to home cybersecurity, experts tell that too many Canadians are neglecting their Wi-Fi routers, leaving their networks vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“The word ‘router’ for most casual tech users is often somewhat intimidating,” Carmi Levy, a London, Ont. Based technology analyst, told on Friday by phone.

“They are intimidated by this technology. They just want it to work and once it does, they don’t want to tempt fate by digging into settings and making changes. “

Having a compromised router could allow hackers to spy on anything you do online, including your banking and medical information, or steal your bandwidth. A compromised router can even give hackers access to your security cameras, baby mentors, and other smart home devices on the network.

“There have been recent incidents where baby monitors have been hacked,” Toronto-based cybersecurity expert Ritesh Kotak said in a telephone interview with on Friday. “This is scary stuff. “

Hackers can also use a compromised router to replace websites you want to visit with fake phishing websites and attempt to steal your login credentials and personal information, through a process called “DNS hijacking.”

Cyber ​​security firm Bitdefender reported one of these DNS hacking patterns in March 2020, when victims hoping to visit some major websites were redirected to a bogus message from the World Health Organization about COVID-19 asking them to download a malicious application.

“Think of your router as another lock on your front door. And if you leave that lock vulnerable, cybercriminals have to take one less step to get to you, ”Levy said.

Here are some tips for securing your home network:


According to experts, one of the easiest ways to keep your router secure is to change all default passwords.

Changing your Wi-Fi password to something that cannot be easily guessed and masking your SSID (or the name of your Wi-Fi network) can greatly prevent a neighbor from stealing your internet bandwidth.

“There is a certain risk that if crimes are actually committed by this individual’s computer, your IP address will appear in this police report,” Kotak said.

Some newer routers may even send you notifications whenever a new device connects to your network. If your router has this feature, Kotak recommends enabling it.

“If a new device connects, I get a notification that a new device has connected. If the device doesn’t sound familiar to me, I’ll start questioning it, ”he said.

You also need to change the username and password on your router’s settings page. Refer to your router’s manual or manufacturer’s website for instructions on how to access this page and change credentials.

Kotak notes that the default passwords on the router settings pages often have extremely easy to guess default usernames and passwords, such as “admin” and “password,” and that It is important to use a strong, unique password that combines upper and lower case letters. with numbers.


It is also important to keep your router’s firmware up to date. Manufacturers regularly release firmware updates to correct security vulnerabilities.

“Hackers will discover weaknesses in some equipment, including routers, and then the company that makes the router will release a security update or patch that you will need to download and install to fix this vulnerability,” Levy said.

“The problem is, a lot of people don’t even bother to do it. They just buy the router, plug it in, and then they forget about it. “

Some newer routers are able to automatically update their firmware. But for most routers, you will have to download the firmware and install it yourself. Check your router manufacturer’s website or manual for how to do this.


If you have guests and want to give them your Wi-Fi password, consider setting up a guest network, which allows your guests’ devices to connect to the internet while being separated from other devices on your network. .

If you have smart home devices, such as a Google Home or a Ring doorbell, Kotak also recommends putting those devices on the guest network to keep them safe.

Neither method is 100% foolproof, but Kotak says it’s about adding more layers of security and creating more “friction” for potential attackers.

“Friction is good. The more steps you have for someone to access the network, the better. ”


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