Your route to security

Setting up your home network? To keep it secure, don’t forget about your router.

Why pay attention to that little box with the flashing lights? Your router lets you connect with the internet and communicate with other devices in your home. So, it’s your first line of defense in guarding against attacks by identity thieves and hackers.

How can you make your router more secure? Start with these steps:

  • Change the name of your router. The name of your router (also called the SSID or service set identifier) is usually a default ID assigned by the manufacturer. Change it to something only you know.
  • Change your router’s pre-set passwords. Your router also usually comes with a default password. Hackers know these default passwords. So, change yours to something unique, long and complex – think at least 12 characters, with a mix of numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters.
  • Turn off any “remote management” features. Some routers offer remote management for tech support. Don’t leave these features enabled. Hackers can use them to get into your home network.

Once your router is set up, don’t just stick it in a corner gathering dust. Instead, keep it up to date. Over time, the software that comes with your router may need updates. Visit the manufacturer’s website periodically to see if there’s a new version available for download. Or register your router with the manufacturer and sign up to get updates. If you lease a router, check if your internet service provider issues updates automatically.

For more tips on router safety and computer security, check out the FTC’s updated article on securing your wireless network. And if your system is hacked and your information exposed, visit identitytheft.gov for a recovery plan. 

Comments

Another good idea is when you are not using your computer unplug your router so you are not constantly broadcasting your information out to anyone who happens to be in range of your router.
Its also a good idea because in many cases when you unplug and plug in your router you reset it and reload the firmware that it uses and get the latest updates.

I have a router that keeps disconnecting. Have to use the reset button for reconnecting. Don't if it is the netgear router or if it is hackers.

Thank you, soooo much! My home network was hacked, about 5 to 6 months ago! It was pretty close to Hell, trying to use and fix it. Could not access my email, no matter what I did, that warning/issue was talked about in a previous FTC email notification to me. I have only a wireless modem, and I have to figure out how to change that password/identifier. That won't be easy, because I have Comcast, and I am totally clueless, as to how to do that. Thank you, soooo much, for all of the work that you do!!!

Wow thanks again FTC

thank you so much, I did chance services, sent my new pc in for a new hard drive, and as soon as I brought it home from repair, not even 1/2 hour they had tried to password me out again, I cant use a cell phone, and they are controlling my devices, and I am just not able to have a private connection, my life has been so disrupped, I was attempting to start a ebay seller, and I was really off to a good start, and now I have been forced to quite, I was getting changed setting with my ebay account and they contacted my pay pal and verbally abused them, and ebay and pay pal were very concerned...I could not have my cyber bully destroying my business reputation, so I am forced to disconnect from my use, I am suffering, And have so many very important things to do, and I just am numb and wreaked, my hacker or intruder? has Won!,....today I must check my expeiran I am told from them that they suspect my credit reporting is in trouble, they said its possible false report sharing? med info I getting shared and

If someone took your personal information and is using it, you can go to identitytheft.gov for help. Find out how to place a fraud alert and report identity theft, and how to deal with problems in your accounts.

Great Subject...

Hi all, I am got a call from 9771076941 and this caller was saying me that he is arepresentative of Global india company. and he was asking my address and all personal details to claim gift amount of rupees 3,20,000 and 10 gms gold.

Before that I have to pay him 3200. Please help me is it afake call or Real. Please do the neeful. Thanks Vikash k

If a stranger calls to say you won a generous prize, but he wants you to send him money first, that is a danger sign. It could be a scam.

You can learn more about Prize Scams in this FTC article.

You can file a complaint about the caller at ecommerce.gov.  Consumer protection agencies in 30 countries use ecommerce.gov to gather and share consumer complaints that cross borders.

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