The router is already as important in homes as the television is to those with Internet access, and for the most part this wireless network is configured at the factory. To roughly summarize the operation of a router, it is a device that broadcasts a wireless signal containing the internet connection indiscriminately and without distinguishing the receiver.
It’s quite an advance of our time as it allows to avoid annoying cables. This however shoot in the air Its signal has always made it a target for hackers, as it turns the router into an access point to any device it connects to. How to easily shield router at home? We have analyzed with experts what actions can be taken at national level and they propose the following:
Always keep the router’s “firmware” up to date
Router manufacturer AVM recommends EL PAÍS to take one of the simplest security measures, one that is often ignored by users: updating your firmware. Hardware manufacturers are always the first to be interested in securing their devices, so they work proactively and reactively to improve the security of their products. These improvements usually come in the form of a patch or update to the firmware (the operating system that moves the router), and any gaps found therein are resolved.
How do I update it? In operators’ routers, it’s usually the ones that launch updates at night, but if in doubt, you can force a check and update (both Movistar and Vodafone have specific guides on their respective customer portals). . If the router is not from the operator, you should refer to the instructions on how to perform the update.
Change the default password
Routers are mass-purchased by operators and distributed with a default set password that allows access to their menu. This can be exploited by hackers to remotely connect and change the router’s settings, granting access to all connected devices. “In order to shield the router at home and thus prevent intruders in your network, it is advisable to change the default password,” explains Federico Dios of Akamai Technologies.
Adrián Moreno, author of the book, agrees hack codewho also “recommends a new secure custom password that combines letters, lowercase, uppercase, and alphanumeric characters.”
Use a guest network
Not everyone is aware of this, but when a houseguest receives the Wi-Fi keys at home, they indirectly gain access to two elements to consider: the devices that connect to the network and the files to download. That is, a hacker can inject malware into guest devices, which is later installed on the network owner’s computers. How is the network shielded against this eventuality?
Routers have one function that creates an impenetrable wall between devices and internal and external traffic: it is the guest network. It is an additional Wi-Fi network (with its own SSID) that is not aware of the connected devices; This network has a different username and password and the owner of the line can edit it at any time.
Unplug the router at night
In any case, the best way to shield the network is to physically eliminate every possibility of access. In this case, the drastic measure would be to unplug the router at night and when you know for sure that you will be away from home for an extended period of time (e.g. on vacation). The maxim of this practice is obvious: an active wireless network is always an open door for the possibility of a hacker acting; If this gate is removed, it is physically impossible for it to become active. It is a measure as radical as it is effective, but it requires the inconvenience of developing this habit and getting used to plugging it back in in the morning.
Change the network identifier (SSID)
An additional layer of security – although not definitive, of course – is to change the wireless network’s identifier, known as the SSID (the one that shows up when you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network). Why is it important to change the SSID? Because in this way the brand of the router is hidden from cyber attackers and in this way the possibility to carry out an attack. And not every ID works: The WPA encryption, which protects the network from hackers, is partly set up via the SSID, the more extensive and complex it is, the more sophisticated the key. In short, the less information shared with hackers, the better protected the network is.
Reduce the WiFi strength
Again, this is a physical barrier that helps reduce the chances of becoming a victim of hackers. We are referring to reducing the range of the wireless signal: routers usually come to market with the maximum transmission power of the wireless signal and generally reduce the signal you get unless the house is very big or there are a lot of walls same performance in between. By weakening the signal, its range is reduced while also reducing the possibility of someone else connecting, for example from a car on the street.
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