Locking down the router for privacy and digital security

Cybercriminals target home internet systems because they are easy to hack and give the hacker access to vast amounts of information. They can skulk and use intelligent software to collect bank and investment account credentials, monitor money in motion, and collect detailed personal information to engineer and optimize their exploits, including blackmail and extortion.


Here are three simple steps that can reduce the risk and increase home network cybersecurity. These measures can help avoid the financial losses and inconvenience suffered by victims of a network hack.

First, take the free ShieldTest

Start by checking the security of your network with the free ShieldTest. It's a comprehensive test with good detail, yet only takes 60-seconds or less. Take the ShieldTest here:

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Second, change the username and password to your modem and WI-FI router  

Most modems and routers come pre-configured with a username and password. In many cases, the username is “admin,” and the password is “password.” Pre-installed usernames and passwords to most modems and routers are published online for anyone to see. Unless the username and password are changed, anyone can easily hack your network and monitor all your online activities.

To change the username and password, search the internet using a query that includes your specific model of modem and router. Examples of the search queries are “How do I change the password on my Xfinity modem?” And “How do I change the password to my Netgear router?” Create a password that is unique and unpredictable to an outsider.

Third, change the name of your WI-FI signal

Do not name your WI-FI with identifiable information. For example, “Smith family” and “101 Main St.” will give anyone in the range of your WI-FI antennae’s reach an invitation to hack your network.

We suggest naming your WI-FI network something that is anonymous and not easily identifiable. For example, perhaps the Smiths are a family of five – a network name of “SF5” would be suitable. The network name is anonymous yet easily recognizable to family members.

These three simple adjustments are easy enough for anyone to do yet can substantially reduce the risk of a potentially harmful network hack for you and your family.

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