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Big mistake people make setting up their router

Big mistake people make setting up their router
© Mikael Damkier | Dreamstime

Checking for updates is a critical step to your computer, gadgets and installed software and applications. The reason for this is two-fold. First, you can take advantage of all the new features and improvements of the new version. Second, your system is updated for security.

Now, you may be religiously keeping all your devices and applications up-to-date. That's all well and good but there might be one critical device you’re neglecting. It’s that one device that acts as your gatekeeper for all the data going in and out of your home.

We’re talking about your router, that little device you connect your devices to for internet access. It’s an essential component in every connected household, but we sometimes take it for granted. But did you know that this neglect and lack of interaction with your router could be a big security issue?

According to security researchers, people face several threats from vulnerabilities in routers, especially if they’re running outdated firmware. Here are some of the primary ways your network could be affected:

Remote access to personal files

One is privacy. If hackers successfully exploit flaws in your router's firmware, they could access your personal files remotely. Using bugs on older firmware, just by knowing a vulnerable router’s external IP, an attacker can actually view and copy files over the internet, even without joining an internal network.

Data interception

Next is data interception. If an attacker successfully exploits old firmware security holes, they can start sniffing data that’s passing to and from the vulnerable router. With this information, they can record all your online activity, including username and passwords, and even re-route your traffic to fake websites.

Unauthorized use

Routers can also be taken over to perform illegal activities like piracy or utilized for denial of service attacks. The scary part is that you might not even know that your router is compromised and is being snooped on or is actively being used for nefarious deeds.

Next page: What you can do to fix the problem
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