Protecting our Routers and Networks

Most of us think about Cybercrime tend to worry viruses, phishing scams, accounts being hacked, or our devices being stolen. The Networks we all use are another way a criminal can access our data to commit crime.

How does the broadband work?

If you have Broadband services offered from domestic Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the UK, there are two different types of Modem, Cable or ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line.). Cable using optic fibre and ADSL use the standard telephone line which is copper wires.

There are several UK ISPs all use different modems and routers.

A modem converts the analogue signals from the cable or phone wire to digital signals (Modem stands for Modulator-Demodulator). The digital signals are sent to different devices by a Router. This is done via an Ethernet Cable or WiFi connection. Most ISP Broadband packages the Modem and Router are built into one device.

How do you set up your home network?

When you get Broadband your ISP provides instructions of how to set up your network and connect with Modem and Router to your devices and the phone or cable connection. If you do not have any information you check your ISP’s website or phone to find out about Protecting initial set up.

Every Modem/Router with have default factory settings to start with. It is important to check and change some of these setting before you start using your network. To do this you have to go the Administrator’s Control Panel.

On the back of the Router box there is usual a label showing the Admin Password and the WiFi Password.

The Admin Control Panel is access by connecting a computer to the Router opening a web browser and typing in the IP address. For example:

Tops Tips:

  • Get to know your ISP and Modem/Router
  • Change the Admin Password
  • Make sure the Firewall is turned on!
  • Set Parental Controls
  • Change WiFi SSID and Password
  • Create Guest WiFi login

The Admin Control Panel

Why change the Admin Password?

Your Admin Control Panel can be access from any computer connected to the internet if someone knows your IP address. Sometimes the default Admin password is easy to crack or is well known.

If someone can access your Network, they can access any device connected to your network, this means they can spy on you with webcams and steal valuable data like other passwords to emails and bank accounts.

What is a Firewall and why should it be always switched on?

The firewall prevents anyone access your network unless they have the right internet credentials. This can be IP addresses, devices, or passwords. The network firewall can allow exceptions for instance software update being the most common.

Note sometimes you must turn a firewall off when installing some antivirus software.

What are parental controls?

Parental controls allow the administrator to restrict internet searches to safe searching and block access to adult websites. It can also turn off access to certain devices at certain times such as bedtimes. With mobile devices it is not easy for parents to either supervise children 24 hours a day or prevent devices being smuggled into bedrooms.

What is the WiFI SSID?

When you log onto WiFi the SSID is the name of the WiFI Network. The default label will identify the ISP provider and network name is possible that default SSID and WiFI password might be known by someone passing by your home. It is a good ide to change this no matter how unlikely some would access your WiFi

You should make sure the WPA (Wireless Protected Access) is enable.

Creating a Guest WiFi

Many Routers allow setting up a Guest WiFi login this prevent a guest access your Home Network. This is useful if you have contractors in the house that need to access the internet while they are working in your home.

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