Unsettling data compiled by NordVPN reveals that only 16% of homeowners who have a Wi-Fi router actually do something to protect them. According to the VPN service, more than 64% of homes have a Wi-Fi router.
The news comes at a time when hackers are targeting home routers with alarming frequency. One such attack earlier this year changed the DNS settings of home routers, redirecting victims to fake web pages that claimed to offer “the latest information and instructions” on COVID-19. When visitors clicked to download the information, the page would steal their data and upload it to the hackers’ servers.
“This attack affected almost 1,200 users who didn’t protect their home internet enough,” said NordVPN’s cybersecurity expert Daniel Markuson. “According to our research, many users do nothing to protect their smart devices, so the situation might repeat itself in the future if users’ habits don’t change.”
As one of the leading VPN brands, NordVPN makes security its top priority. The blog section on the NordVPN website features various guides and articles advising users on how to protect their routers and home networks from possible breaches.
“When it comes to hacking computers or phones, the dangers seem to be clear to most of the users,” Markuson explains. “However, Wi-Fi routers don’t store any information, so users pay little attention to protecting them. And that is why they become targets for hackers more and more often.”
So what can you do to protect your Wi-Fi router? Here are some tips to help you out:
- Change your router password.
The first time you get a router, it’ll have a default username and password, which hackers can easily crack. Therefore, as soon as you get the router, change the password.
- Update the firmware.
Although all the newer router models have automatic updates, make sure to check if you’re running the latest firmware. Regular updates can help fix bugs and security vulnerabilities that hackers use to access your network.
- Use a VPN.
Configuring a VPN on your router can help protect your entire home network. A VPN service will encrypt the traffic on every device connected to your Wi-Fi router and hide your IP address. It can also help unblock geo-restricted content by changing your IP location.