Cyber Essentials: how to change your router password

23/08/2018 in

tips, Cyber Essentials

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When it comes to cyber criminals stealing information, what are they trying to steal? Perhaps your bank details? Or your email login? While this may be the case, there is something that you’re not thinking of – your router password.

You may not think of it regularly, but your router (aka firewall) is vital to your business’s cybersecurity. If your router is at risk, your whole system is vulnerable to a cyberattack.

Default passwords on routers are notoriously simple, and therefore easy to hack. Some routers don’t even have a default password, all you need to do is type the username ‘admin’ to gain access. This is a spectacular lapse in security for any business. Your router allows anyone with admin rights to manage the entire network, giving them access to all the device’s features and information about any connected devices.

So, if a malicious party were to gain access to it, there’s no telling the damage they could do to your business. They can open back doors to your system without you knowing and wreak havoc.

Thankfully, the solution to this problem is simple: change your router password. Here’s our quick guide to show you how.

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Find Your Router

On most networks, your router is also your ‘default gateway’. Here’s how to find it:

  1. Open a command prompt and type the command ‘ipconfig’.
  2. Make a note of the Default Gateway IP address.
  3. Open a browser and type the IP address into the address bar.
  4. You should be prompted with a login screen.
  5. Login with your admin username and password.

Create a Secure Password

Once you have access to your router, find the option to change your admin password. The menu system should be self-explanatory. If not, find the specific device model from a label on your physical router box and do a Google search.

The strongest passwords are ones consisting of a random series of letters, numbers and symbols. While these are secure, they are hard to remember without a password manager. If you would like to use passwords like these, we recommend a password manager like LastPass to help you keep on top of them.

If a password manager isn’t for you, consider this tip: use three random words. Choosing something memorable but also random can keep your passwords very secure. For example, one of your email passwords could be ‘seventyelephantbungees’. This puts a memorable image in your head, but it’s still random enough that no-one would expect it to be a password.

Download your Cyber Essentials Questionnaire

We hope that this quick guide helps you to secure your router and keep your business safe.

To ensure your cyber security is up to scratch, why not download your free Cyber Essentials Questionnaire and IT policies? It’s the first step to achieving Cyber Essentials accreditation, which proves you meet the minimum requirements for a secure business.

You can also purchase our companion guide to the questionnaire. Not only will it give you detailed answers to every question, but it includes two free half-hour sessions with our Cyber Essentials experts.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss cyber security further, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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About The Author

David Watson

David Watson

David is managing director at Evolve and a keen runner.