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Not keeping your home router secure is the same as not having a front door on your house. Your router delivers the internet to your house and it’s important to protect that entry way. Hackers are very malicious and will cause havoc for you if your home router is not properly secured. Hackers could cause many threats to your system and understanding how they do this can help you understand how to protect your home router. By taking simple steps you can stop anyone from causing damage to your life on the internet. Here is how to validate that your home router is not compromised.

One threat that hackers use is called DNS hijacking. DNS stands for Domain Name System and its role is to act as a phonebook for the internet. DNS is what helps you reach a website. When you type in a website in your browser the browser checks the DNS and keeps hopping around to finally locate the server that is hosting the website. When DNS servers locate the website, they translate the domain name to an IP address to help the server that hosts the website find you. Hijacking the DNS could result in routing you to an unknown server without you even knowing. Hackers could redirect you to fake looking websites that you wouldn’t even know are fake. For example, you try to reach your banking website but instead someone redirects you to a fake banking website that looks exactly like the website you normally use. You type in your credentials and just like that the hacker has your banking information. With this access to your home router you can be open to malware and even more phishing websites. Here is a simple check to see if your home router is not compromised:

  1. Open your web browser and go to this link F-Secure
  2. Run the free F-Secure Router Checker
  3. Check the results

F-Secure is great free tool to checks if your home router has been hijacked by criminals. This tool is web based so no need to download any bloatware that annoys you to download the paid version. F-Secure cares about your privacy and every time it conducts a test it never links the information back to you. It treats your IP address as an anonymous address. This tool most of all checks your DNS settings on your home router. It checks to see if there are any signs of hijacking or malicious activity. After the test it might say that “the check was incomplete”. This is because F-Secure offers a download version of its software that includes a free trial of extra features to check the security of your home router. The free trial of software does not berate you to purchase the product and using the trial does not require any credit card or banking information.

Taking simple steps to protect your home router includes changing the default password to a unique tough to crack password is a good start. Always check the firmware of your router to make sure it is up to date with the latest security patches. The last tip I have is to simply remember to log out of your routers settings. When changing various settings, it’s important to save the setting and log out to secure it.

Following these steps will ensure an improved, more secure home router.