Threat Research

How to disable access to your router from the Internet

Lisandro Carmona de Souza, 10 November 2014

How to disable access to your router from the Internet

When Avast Home Network Security (HNS) displays the following error: “Your network router is accessible from the Internet” that means that hackers can access your router’s administrative interface.

Your WiFi network is not secured Your WiFi network is not secured

 

Although that doesn’t mean imminent threat, the fact that the router is accessible from the Internet is not good. A cybercrook could modify your network settings and even disable your Internet connection or, the worst, steal your personal data.

For sure, if you use the default password in your router, everyone can access your router. However, you won’t do that, will you? If you’re reading this article, we suppose you’re technically educated and will know that using the default password is a serious risk.

hns3Routers, especially Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) wireless routers, are usually quite vulnerable to all sorts of exploits and exposing the admin interface of the router to the Internet is like leaving your door unlocked when you leave home. According to Tripwire, “80% of Amazon’s top 25 best-selling SOHO wireless router models have security vulnerabilities.”

Why should we worry about routers?

“Unsecured routers create an easy entry point for hackers to attack millions of American home networks,” said Vince Steckler, chief executive officer of Avast. “If a router is not properly secured, cybercriminals can easily gain access to an individual’s personal information, including financial information, user names and passwords, photos, and browsing history.”

Set up a strong password

I already explained how to make sure you have the highest level of encryption set on your router. If you missed it, please go back and read my blog, How to turn on WiFi encryption in your router settings.

The next step is to replace thedefault administrator password.Some of the most common mistakes made, not only by common users but also from a significant number of IT professionals, are to use the default administrator password and use the popular WPS and its insecure technology that allows hackers to discover (much easier) the router encryption passphrase.

When creating a new password, make sure it is long and strong, using a mix of numbers, letters and symbols. If you have many visitors to yourhome, it’s a good idea to set up a guest network with a separate password.

Avast 2015 includes a Home Network Security scanner that can help you determine what needs to be done, explain why, and can direct you to the router manufacturer’s website. Read more about it on our blog, Your home network is at risk of cybersecurity attacks.

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