You could have the most secure device with all security measures in place, and somehow, your device could still get hacked, or your network could get compromised. You could face cyber attacks if you didn’t change the router after setting up the internet connection. When your ISP sets up the internet connection, they are usually in a hurry to finish things up and move on to the next client instead of configuring the security settings. Amidst all this, you are most likely to focus on using the internet instead of configuring the router.
5 Security Settings to configure Your Router
Just because your attention is not on the router’s security, you can potentially forget to make significant security changes that can become problematic for you later. If your network gets compromised, it can allow hackers onto the network, and none of the devices on the web would be safe. It takes only a few minutes to make these critical security settings changes through a default gateway address such as 192.168.10.1, and once you are done, you can rest assured and use the internet with peace of mind.
With all of that being said, here are 6 basic security settings to configure after setting your router:
Change Encryption Protocol
The first meaningful security change you will have to make after setting up the WiFi router is to change the encryption protocol to WPA2 or WPA3; anything below that is unacceptable. Currently, WPA3 is the latest encryption protocol available, and it has become the industry standard. If your router doesn’t have the WPA3 option available, go with WPA2, as it is the most secure after WPA3. Any other encryption protocol, be it WEP or WPA, is unacceptable as they are obsolete protocols that could make your network vulnerable.
Disable WPS, NAT-PMP, and UPnP
WPS, NAT-PMP, and UPnP are three technologies that you must disable if you want to make your network stable. Although these are different technologies, they all perform the same function and give devices access to your WiFi network without entering a password or anything. These are mainly used for multimedia devices and smart home devices like smart light bulbs to make it easier to set up the device and connect to the network.
However, the problem with these technologies is that they are vulnerable to being exploited by hackers, and devices that are connected to the network through these technologies can be hacked, which can give unauthorized access to your network. Therefore, it is better to disable these technologies to make your network more secure.
Change The Default SSID and WiFi Password
Changing the default SSID and WiFi password are a part of the router setup, but most of the time, the installation guy is in a hurry and uses the default credentials. Using the default credentials means that you are letting the hackers know that you are an easy target. Whatever you do, avoid using the default SSID and password.
Your internet technician won’t take a few minutes to make these changes, but these are essential security changes, especially the WiFi password. Some default WiFi passwords are so easy that it is only a job of minutes for hackers to get into the network. Make sure that you change the SSID and keep it from quickly identifying you, and also use a strong password for the WiFi network.
Change Admin Password
Along with the WiFi password, make sure to change the admin password. By default, the admin password is something like “admin” or “password”, and everyone can crack these passwords. If someone is connected to your network, they can access the router’s administrator panel using the default admin password and change the vital privacy settings of the router. Therefore, to keep your router and its settings secure, make sure that you change the admin password. It can be done from the default gateway address and the router’s mobile app, like the Tplinkwifi app.
Enable Automatic Firmware Updates
The last important setting to change before you use the internet is enabling the automatic firmware update. You could miss critical security patches that protect your router if you don’t allow automatic firmware updates. It only takes a few minutes to enable automatic firmware updates, but if you cannot do it, make sure to check for updates once every month and install it as soon as possible whenever there is a new update.
Also, keep in mind that firmware updates can sometimes revert all settings back to default, so double-check all the settings every time you install a firmware update.