Last updated on May 8th, 2020 at 07:01 am.

This is one of those small business cyber security tips that transcends the small business and applies to the home network. Every business and home has one- It’s that box with the blinky lights that enables the connection to the vast computer network known as the internet.

If a cyber-criminal had administrator access to a router, they have ability to control your entire network. This access can be had over the internet if one of your machines were compromised, right outside your place within the range of your own WiFi signal, or through physical access to your home or work computer network.

Home and Workplace Security Architecture Risk Assessment
small business cyber security tip wireless router
This is an example of a typical wireless router. A Router can be Wireless or Wired, with wireless ones sometimes not having external antenna’s like the one pictured above.

Real quickly, a router bends time and space in order to get your data and requests out and into your home or office network. Ok, maybe not bending time and space, but it is the gate keeper (literally, most have a type of service called a gateway) ultimately keeping separate your private home or business network from the rest of the internet, or whatever outside network it’s connected to.

It also usually combines any data from your computers and devices on your network and pipes it out onto one line over to your modem, which is another device that converts your data signals into another more suitable form that can travel long distance out to your internet service provider (ISP) and eventually onto the internet in a fraction of the time it takes to blink your eye.

Your router- It could be small business grade robust router like Ubiquiti’s EdgeRouter, something that we use ourselves. Or it could be a home (or even gaming) focused router like many small businesses have, similar to the one pictured above. Some routers that your ISP provides sometimes has a modem built into the router so you don’t have a separate device (and they could have more control over your router too, for customer service troubleshooting, wifi hotspot service, and more).

This router… what you use to connect to the delightful and sometimes murky internet in the home or office could be what is causing continuous cyber break-ins if it’s not configured properly. In fact, did you configure it at all when you got your router?

Do you even know the password to your router?

Does your router have a unique and strong password that you set?

Do you fully trust everyone on your business or home network to not fiddle around with your routers settings? It’s not hard to figure out.

Do you have one of those neighbors who likes to steal wi-fi internet from you? Would you give them free reign to control your network?

Malicious hackers are able to easily guess or obtain any manufacturer’s default usernames and passwords for any router. With this information, cyber criminals can change one of the many settings on the router that you may not be aware of. Your router can then be used to eavesdrop on your activities, route your favorite websites directly to unfavorable websites (to assist in phishing attacks), be monitored by the government or more recently, allow criminal hacker groups to use your computer network (who now have these same tools).

And once someone has well enough control of your network, besides further breaking into the computers and devices on your network, they can use your network and it’s assets to contribute to cyber-attacks on other people and businesses, all under your “name” and reputation.

Most often, in the manual for your router, it mentions what the default username and password would be if you were ever to log into your router. If you have not changed this password, change it now to more than 20 characters. Doing so can potentially save you a headache in the future, and it’s the secure thing to do.

Routers vary by manufacturers, but all of them have similar functions no matter what manufacturer. Instead of reinventing the wheel, here’s a helpful guide that we hope will help you change your routers credentials:

Online Guide: Change your router’s default account credentials now!

If you’re looking for cyber security small business tips, do not overlook this important piece of hardware that grants your business and home access to the internet. This “gate keeper” device, if it’s ever being controlled by a cyber attacker that knows what they’re doing, could cause you not to trust what you see on your screen. That is, if you even know if you’ve been compromised…

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