What the Tech: Reset your router…or else

Local News

Your anti-malware can’t stop wifi hackers from damaging your devices.

The FBI issued a warning this week that everyone should reset or reboot their wifi router after agents discovered that Russian hackers have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers worldwide. The threat, the FBI said, targeted routers including those by Linksys, Netgear and TP-Link, some of the most popular devices in the U.S.

It’s especially important because most IoT devices connect directly to the router rather than going through a computer which may have anti-malware and anti-virus software. Smarthome devices such as doorbells, door locks, streaming devices, televisions and many newer home appliances. By connecting to wifi directly through the router they are vulnerable to wifi hacks.

Hackers have been known to access those devices by connecting to routers with weak passwords. Videos have been posted online of unknowing homeowners who were recorded through their security cameras.

To reset or reboot a wifi router you just need to unplug it from electricity, wait 30 seconds and plug it back in. You should also take this opportunity to update your router to the latest firmware. This can be done by connecting to the manufacturer’s website.

If you’ve never changed your router’s password you should do that too, especially if you haven’t changed it from the default username and password. The default usernames and passwords are easily found online which makes it easy for hackers to access the network and possibly control all devices connected to it.

Your wifi router is possibly the most vulnerable device in your home and it needs attention. The FBI urges business owners and consumers to reset or reboot the router as soon as possible to avoid being hacked.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Reset router by unplugging the power cord and wait 30 seconds before plugging it back in.
  • Connect to the manufacturer’s website and update the router to the latest firmware.
  • Reset your username and password. This is extremely important if you didn’t change the default username and password when you first installed the router.
  • The default password is typically: username and the password is generally set to the name of the router. The default login information is easily found online just by searching for the name of the router.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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