Would you know if your Wi-Fi router’s been hacked? Here’s what you need to do

Taylor Gadsden
TG
Taylor Gadsden
Oct 23, 2019

Most internet users are familiar with hackers and the havoc they can wreak on unsuspecting targets. But did you know that your router, a key component to your home Wi-Fi connection, is also susceptible to hackers looking to cash in on your internet connection?

Here are some common signs to watch out for and easy solutions for how to fix a hacked router that can help if your network is compromised. 

Signs your router’s been hacked

Your router is responsible for managing the connection between your internet-connected devices and your home Wi-Fi. Once your router has been successfully hacked, the third-party can carry out a number of malicious activities including identity theft, malware attacks and website reroutes. Here are a few symptoms of a compromised router:

  • Your router login is no longer effective
  • Foreign IP addresses are listed on your network
  • You’re receiving ransomware and fake antivirus messages
  • Software installations are taking place without your permission
  • Your internet service provider (ISP) reaches out

Depending on the culprit behind your router’s hack, you may notice any one of several signs that your network has been compromised. If the hacker is simply looking to access a free Wi-Fi connection, your only sign may be a foreign IP address listed on your network and slower speeds than usual.

How to fix a hacked router

If the hacker’s intent is more malicious, you may notice more blatant symptoms like unexpected software installations and inaccessible router settings. These types of signs require more immediate action to secure your sensitive information before it’s too late. Here are a few tips on how to fix a hacked router and rid it of threats for good.

Reboot  

Resetting your router could help disrupt any active malware on your network and help you identify other infected devices. When the VPNFilter malware became a major threat in 2018, the FBI’s number one recommendation was a router reboot. To start, hold down the router’s reset button until the device shuts down. When it’s back up and running, you’ll need to reconfigure all your network’s settings.

Update the router’s firmware

Most router models will not automatically update firmware on their own the way computer software does, so it’s a good idea to make sure you take care of this on your own. Upgrade to the latest version of available firmware every 90 days or whenever updates are available. 

Inactivate remote administration

The “Remote administration” setting on your router gives users the ability to access your computer and internet connection from a different location. It can be a great feature for personal use and a real issue if a hacker gains access. If you’ve ever heard of someone watching their mouse move or a program installing on its own, the odds are that someone is manipulating your computer in real-time.  

Turn on your guest network

Enable your router’s “Guest Network” option. This function is designed for visitors to your home and to essentially keep your devices on a separate network from theirs. This separation can help you protect not only your network connection but also the smart home devices that utilize the connection.

Your router is the key to your home Wi-Fi connection. Don’t leave your network and smart home devices unsecured and vulnerable to threats. Keep in touch with us on social or bookmark our Resource Center for more tips and tricks on gaining greater internet security. 

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