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How to keep your router secure and stay safe online

If your home has WiFi, it’s a fair bet that you have a router installed.

Through this, you’re given access to a local network that acts as a launch pad for you to access the internet.

In this setup, security can become a concern, which is why router manufacturers bundle security features such as Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) into the hardware.

How Does a Router Work?

For your computer or device to get online, you first have to connect with your router.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Your router is dependent on your internet service provider (ISP), and through your ISP a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address is assigned to your home or office.
  2. When you are connected, it counts as a session. In each session, the router accesses the IP address assigned and uses a gateway address to access the internet.
  3. Routers, depending on capacity, can simultaneously connect a number of devices. Although small home routers have a limited range, they can accommodate 4-5 different devices.
  4. In connecting to the Wi-Fi network, a password is needed so you can be authenticated and connected to the internet through the router.


Router Threats

According to a report by Bank Info Security, router security for some has recently compromised through an intrusive program called “CherryBlossom”, a firmware allegedly built by the CIA capable of spying on home and business. Programs such as viruses, worms, malware and ciphers can all compromise not only our computers and networks, but also our personal information and data.

Here are practical tips in keeping your network and router secured:

  • Update Your Firmware 
    The router firmware is the mini operating system in your router’s programming. Manufacturers often issue new firmware updates FREE TO DOWNLOAD. These updates ensure your router is operating in its latest version and fixes security loopholes.
  • Anti-Virus and Firewall
    With all the threats facing our online security, keeping updated anti-virus software running is a must. This is our first line of defence against viruses and malware that can compromise not only secure networks but also personal information. All devices that connect regularly to the router are vulnerable to malware and this is why you must run updated security software.
    Also, make a regular habit of scanning your computer and devices for viruses.
  • Strong Wi-Fi Password – A strong password is a combination of capital letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t let your network be without a password or make the password obvious – ‘123456’ does not a strong network maketh.
  • Updated Operating Systems – Much like keeping your anti-virus updated, your operating systems on devices tablets should also run their latest versions.
    Apple for iOS, Google for Android and Microsoft Windows regularly update their operating systems to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Download with Caution – We all love adding mobile applications or free software, but there’s software uploaded by questionable developers and producers that may contain malware. Once installed, these can automatically hack and compromise your network. Always download with caution and be sure to scan software or any installation packages before running the setup process.

 

Quality nbn™ broadband internet isn’t just fast, but also secure. Activ8me can provide you with the right advice to help you connect to the nbn™. To find out more visit www.activ8me.net.au or speak to our Aussie sales and support teams on 13 22 88.

 


Jasmin Ashton

About Jasmin Ashton

Jasmin Ashton is the Marketing and Digital Communications coordinator at Activ8me. They grew up in regional Australia and still have nightmares about dial-up connection tones.

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