People worry so much about identity theft and cybercrimes these days that antivirus/antimalware/antispyware are having a field day. Users are aware of the various softwares they need to use to protect their computer, bank accounts, social networking accounts and even their smartphones. But how many of us bother protecting our wireless routers? Because as far as I am concerned, your wireless router is the entry point through which any malware or spyware can gain entry into your domain. So in this article, we would be talking about effective steps to protect your wireless router from a malware attack.
How many of us know that when you visit a website, your modem’s IP address is automatically available to them? And so many of us use our modem as a router and this means they have access to your router IP address, which implies they have your ISP and location too. We live in a world where there are malwares that are router-specific and can attack routers of a certain make. This poses a serious threat to most users having an unprotected router. Unknowingly, you may end up sharing your banking details to a hidden malware and land with an empty bank account.
So let us go through some simple, but effective steps that will do the job for you.
- Visit your router firmware website regularly and check for updates. Sign up for their newsletters so you will be informed as soon as an update is released
- It is equally important to update your browser router firmware on a regular basis. If your browser router comes with a “download updates automatically” option, make sure it is checked. Again, visiting the manufacturer website regularly can be productive.
- Login to your browser set up page. Ensure that the remote administration check box is unchecked. You do not want anyone accessing your router from a malware location. If you need assistance with doing this, you can contact your ISP or router manufacturer. So how do you know that the remote administration is off? Check the IP address listed there. If it is 0.0.0.0, you are safe.
- Rename your wireless network. By default, it will display the manufacturer name of your router like Belkin, Airtel, Tikona etc. You need to change this to something that others won’t be able to guess so easily. Using your family name or the name of your place isn’t going to help either. Choose something that is unique enough to ward off evil eyes.
- Maintain a healthy router password. Please note that the router password is totally different from your Wi-Fi password. Router password is what you use to access your router set up page. Make sure this is a strong password and different from the Wi-Fi password.
- This goes without saying; you need to have a very strong Wi-Fi password. Other than saving your data pack from free loaders, this is vital for data security.
- If you are really worried about an IP theft, you can hide your IP address by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
These are some of the basic steps to protect your wireless router from malware attacks.