Your home router might be accessible remotely and threaten your home security

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Home Security – On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the Covid-19 a pandemic.  With increasing numbers of cases being reported worldwide, many organizations have already put in place ‘work from home’ policies to mitigate the risk of the disease on their workforce and business.

Looking at the weeks and months ahead, as the world deals with the spread and uncertainty of this pandemic, the numbers of people who choose or are required to work remotely will increase exponentially. This will lead to increasing cyber-attacks, especially due to the lack of fundamental cyber hygiene within the home environment. It will impact your home security.

Imagine a scenario in which you are using your own WiFi router at home, and you did not manage to configure/change any security or by-default settings. This might expose your whole network, and therefore put your family members at risk of scammers and cybercriminals. Your home security is critical, isn’t ?

Find below some good immediate tips for your WiFi router security that you could implement to reduce your risks while working at home.

Tip #1: Change your router admin portal password

Usually, your internet service provider or ISP has by default credentials assigned to access your router settings through an IP address. This access allows you to change your system configuration and it should be used only initially to set up your router. This is where as well you can set your Wi-Fi name (SSID – For example, 007Surveillance Van 😀 !) and Wi-Fi secret passphrase (password is not good enough – try IFindMyhusband100%Sexy).

The picture showcases the access to probably most of the routers around the World, as YOU – don’t change your credentials access.

Tip #2: Disable remote management unless absolutely necessary 

Remote access to your machines, networks should not be allowed unless absolutely necessary or within limited users with specific access.

In most cases, your WiFi routers are not accessible for remote management. However, there is a feature called remote web management that might expose your network.

This feature allows random malicious bots / hackers scanning the network and attempt to break into your Wi-Fi router. This is absolutely a disaster if you did not change the default password as mentioned in tip #1.

Tip #3: Don’t share your Wi-Fi password

This is an easy one, as having guests is limited around the World during the pandemic. Thus, it is still important to ensure that your password is not easy or discoverable by visiting your Facebook profile and you have not shared it with your whole neighbourhood.

Tip #4: Update your Wi-Fi router firmware

One of the cyber hygiene fundamentals is to keep your software, and firmware updated. The updates address regular vendor security changes and reduce immediately the risks if being hacked.

In fact, the security vulnerabilities are published online and available for everyone to check, in addition of publicly available exploits to use…

home security

In at least the short to medium term, many more people are likely to find themselves requiring to work remotely as the world begins to recognize and respond to Covid-19 as a pandemic.  This situation presents a potential goldmine for cybercriminals to exploit – from reduced cyber protection where personal devices are used for work, to more opportunities to steal company-issued device especially when these are used or being charged in public spaces.  There is an urgent need to educate users around the world of the risks associated with working remotely, home security and set up guidelines which every companies’ staff needs to adhere to strictly.


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