Avast Antivirus is one of the top anti-virus programs on the market, but new research from the company suggests that there's one thing that it can't protect you from: Your router.
Avast CEO, Vince Steckler, explains what exactly is so risky about routers:
Unsecured routers create an easy entry point for hackers to attack millions of American home networks. Our research revealed that the vast majority of home routers in the US aren’t secure. If a router is not properly secured, cybercriminals can easily gain access to an individual’s personal information, including financial information, user names and passwords, photos, and browsing history.
All of the information that gets sent to and downloaded from the Internet has to go through your router. If a hacker could get access to it, then they'd have an ever-present peephole into every single thing that you do.
With all of the potential access gated by our routers, you'd think that they'd have some basic security features, right? Avast's study found an answer that might surprise you.
In its survey of over 2,000 U.S. households, Avast discovered that "more than half" of the households' routers were secured by default or common passwords (i.e. "admin/admin" or "admin/password.")
Even then, 25% of passwords used addresses, names, or phone numbers of people using a router. So if a hacker really wanted, they'd easily be able to figure out a way into about 75% of the people surveyed by Avast.
How do you stay safe? First of all, take a look at a tip that I've written that will teach you how to make strong passwords.
Your router password should be as safe as you'd make any lock in your home and a strong password is the best way to protect yourself.