If you’re like most people, the day you got your router, you installed it (or had it installed) and soon after got busy using it. Just minutes after you plugged it in, it was working perfectly.
Suddenly, you and your family were logging long hours on the internet with all your gadgets. Those hours turned into days, then weeks, then months. You browse the internet, stream TV shows and movies, and chat it up on social media without a care in the world. Tap or click here to see if your neighbors are stealing your Wi-Fi and what to do about it.
But, you likely forgot a critical step during your router’s installation: changing its default password. Maybe you think you don’t need to protect yourself with a password because no one lives nearby. So, who’s going to steal your signal? Or maybe it’s wired, not wireless, so you think you’re not in danger.
Both those assumptions are wrong. Anyone can walk or drive up to your property and use your signal, and you don’t know what they’re using it for. Plus, even wired routers connect to the internet, so they are vulnerable to hackers.
Still, you may be thinking your router’s password is fine. It’s long and confusing, so no one will ever figure it out. The thing is, hackers and everyone else can find your router’s secret password in just a few seconds. Want to know how?
Find, and change, your router’s password
Click the yellow box below to get to this cool site, RouterPasswords. Once there, do a quick search for your router’s manufacturer. Click on your manufacturer’s name, and RouterPasswords will display a list of all its router models and their passwords.
For example, find Belkin in RouterPasswords’ drop-down menu. Click on Find Password and you’ll quickly see passwords for Belkin routers. If your router also requires a username, that will be listed right next to the password.
Warning: Now that you know how to find your router’s default password, we strongly suggest you immediately change it. If you can find your router’s default password in just a few seconds, so can hackers.
Hackers break into routers all the time. They barge in and install malware to take it over. In fact, hackers are counting on you not to change your router’s passwords. Many people don’t and it’s a huge problem.
Not all routers and other hardware are protected by firewalls and anti-virus software. If your router is hacked, you may need a fix from the hardware manufacturer or your internet provider. That’s a hassle, and it can take a while.
Here’s a tool to find out if your router has been hacked by criminals.