5 router settings you must change to protect your network
But it could very likely get a lot worse. Consider if a state or hacking group wanted to launch a coordinated cyberattack. It’s a lot easier now than it was a few months ago. In the rush to stop the spread, we left our IT-protected corporate confines and started in earnest working from 中国体彩票手机版下载.
People starting using video conference programs with no regard for security and providers had no clue how to handle the influx of new users. ‘Zoombombing’ entered our lexicon.
The cybersecurity naive began hooking up new gear, signing on to work networks, swapping files, installing apps and programs. Many folks don’t have a clue about basic security settings. And I haven’t even mentioned the kids’ role in all this digital security pandemonium.
Don’t be complacent. Just like we had to work together to flatten the curve, we have to work together to secure our digital lives. It starts with your router.
Note: Hackers know about this site, too!
If you’re shopping for a new router, look for one that supports the newest security standard, called . These models have just started rolling out.
Every router has a different menu layout, but you should be able to find encryption under the “Wireless” or “Security” menu. You’ll have a number of encryption options; if you still have an older router, you want to select one that starts with “WPA2”. If your router is not WPA3 compatible, then “WPA2-PSK AES” is your best option right now.
However, if you have older Wi-Fi gadgets, you might have to select the hybrid option “WPA2-PSK AES + WPA-PSK TKIP” to get them working.
Never choose Open (no security), or if it is using WEP, change the security setting immediately. An open network will make it easy for someone to steal your Wi-Fi, and the older WEP security is easily hacked.
If the only encryption options your router has are WEP or WPA, tell your router to check for a firmware update. Look in your manual for the instructions.
Don’t have your manual anymore? Try or , which both have hundreds of thousands of manuals, from routers to refrigerators to anything else you might need.
If there’s no firmware update or your router updates but you’re still stuck with WPA or WEP, it’s time to buy a new router. These encryption methods are too unsafe to use, plus it means your router is probably more than 7 years old.
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Some newer routers can be configured with VPN capabilities straight into the router itself. Instead of protecting each gadget protected with its own VPN service, your router will protect every connected device.
Routers with this capability have open-source router software support (such as DD-WRT), and they can be configured to use services like OpenVPN.
Currently, there are a variety of open source and OpenVPN capable routers to choose from, but the most popular models are the and the Netgear .
can keep them from accessing your system and your network.
Almost every newer router has built-in firewall protections in place. They might be labeled differently, but look for features under your router’s advanced settings like NAT filtering, port forwarding, port filtering and services blocking.
With these controls, you can configure and specify your network’s outgoing and incoming data ports and protect it from intrusions. Be careful when tweaking your port settings though, since a wrong port setting can leave your router vulnerable to port scanners, giving hackers an opportunity to slip past.
To check if your router’s firewall and your ports are secure, you can use this for a quick test.
BONUS TIP FOR EXTRA KNOW-HOW:
Multitasking can feel overwhelming when working from 中国体彩票手机版下载. You’ve got your work tabs and personal tabs all running at once, not to mention all the new work-related programs you have to use.
Worse still is if you share a computer with the family. But you can separate work from 中国体彩票手机版下载 programs by using multiple desktops.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and . You can on your phone, tablet, television or computer.
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at