Wireless routers are at a higher risk of being hacked than wired routers because they rely on “the cloud”, meaning all of the router's data is available to a hacker if the router isn’t properly secured. While you could switch back to a wired internet connection, that isn’t necessarily the most convenient way to access the internet. Wireless connections are easier to connect to, and allow you the freedom to use the internet on multiple devices no matter your location if within range. Here are some tips on how to secure your wireless router to lessen your risk of being hacked.
Enable Wireless Encryption (WPA2) for your router. Without encryption, your network is left unprotected and completely open for hackers to access. You’ll also need to create a new SSID, otherwise known as your WiFi network name, and a unique password. Using the default name and password for your network makes it much easier for hackers to guess common combinations.
Turn on your wireless router’s firewall. Your router most likely has a built-in firewall that you just need to activate for more protection. Enabling your firewall will make your network harder to find, and you can also check and see if it has a “stealth mode” that makes it almost undiscoverable.
Purchase an encrypted VPN service. Virtual Private Networks used to be expensive add-ons that only large companies used, but nowadays you can purchase your own for a small monthly fee. A personal VPN is one of the best ways to deter hackers. A personal VPN can hide your actual location with a proxied IP address, and can put up an encryption to protect your network traffic. If your router supports the personal VPN function, it may be worth looking into this option.
Update your router’s firmware. Hackers can find security breaches in your router often, so when the manufacturer becomes aware of the breaches they offer solutions to fix them. Go into your router settings every so often and check to see if you need to update your router. If you do, run the update to keep your router secure with the newest software.
Turn off WiFi Protected Setup. WPS is the function by which devices can be paired with the router even when encryption is in place. Anyone with physical access to your router can pair their devices, so make sure only people you trust know your router’s location and have a password.