We talk about cyber security a lot. Mostly we talk about it in a 3rd party sense, in other words what other people or companies are doing be it right or wrong. But how many of us take a look inward? How many of us take the router we are using (to view the words I’m typing here) for granted? Your router is literally the gateway/firewall between you (and all of your numerous gadgets) and the big bad internet.
Read the title of the post again, because if you roll your eyes and want to choose the back button you should think again. If you feel uncomfortable testing or updating your router then feel free to get somebody you trust to help.
OK… there’s a lot of junk and malicious files and servers out there on the internet. I’ve seen a laptop with the Windows firewall deactivated get bombarded in seconds when connected ahead of the router/firewall. For the most part, our routers do a great job, but we should remain vigilant. Remember a while back when much of the internet was brought to it’s knees? That was largely due to the abuse of seemingly innocent but unsecure devices out there.
Where to start?
I used an app called RouterCheck on my Dtek60 to start. It showed me I had two issues. One was a port I had open unnecessarily, the other is a known “CVE” detail that will likely force me to replace my router.
As a result, I logged into my router and nuked the Remote Admin port 8080. No need to have that open even though I have a highly hardened password.
While I was in there I looked for updated router firmware. Fact is that your router is first defence between you and hackers, so keeping it up to date just like your PC and handset software is essential.
Found an update from 1.0.4 to 1.0.5 so why not update? Done! It’s old though, so I think I might upgrade the hardware.
Because there are a veritable cornucopia of routers out there, I didn’t want to get too deep into the particulars. Every router has a different interface. Thing is that we all need to keep ourselves safe, so…
- Make sure your router has a highly secure administration and/or user password
- Login to your router and make sure the firmware is up to date
- If you cannot do 1 or 2 because it is supplied by your ISP (internet service provider) then call them up and demand to be updated to the latest firmware and equipment. That is what you are paying them for.
- Make sure all of your connected devices have a highly secure password!
You are responsible for your own cyber safety. Take charge.