Why Your Router is the Weak Point of Your Home Security

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Lee Munson

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There is always a weak point in any system that you create. It is just a reality of life that no matter how careful you are, there is always going to be a weak point in anything that you create.

When it comes to home computer security, the weak point can be in many different places. For example, one of the computers that is on the network might not have an updated antivirus running on it.

This means that an attacker would be able to get inside of that computer and any of the other computers that are on the network. Another weak point on a home network might be the actual user themselves.

We make so many security mistakes when we use the computer that anyone of them might come back to haunt us. So as you can see there are many spots on the home computer network that can be considered unsecured. But there is one spot on the home network that is always overlooked.

The spot on the network that is always overlooked is the router that connects the home network. When people first install the network, really the only thing that they know about the wireless router is that it allows you to get the internet no matter where you are in the house.

They do not realize that proper maintenance of the router is essential in making sure that the network in your home is secured. In the following paragraphs we are going to go a little more in depth on what the home router does and why it is such a security nightmare. Also we will show you how you can fix a lot of these problems so that it is secure.

What does your home router do?

In a nutshell, your home wireless router is what allows you to connect wireless devices to the internet. But the device has other features as well. It allows you to block certain web sites from getting inside of your network. It also allows you to set timers on certain computers in the house.

For example if you have children that you need to make sure that you monitor their internet usage then you do not have to worry about special software that does it for you. On most modern routers you will find that the capability is already built in.

So as you can see there is a lot that your home router does besides just connecting your computer to the internet. So now let’s look at why the device is so insecure most of the time.

The security problems with most home routers

When it comes to the home router while the device is very useful, it is also riddled with many security problems as well. And this is a real weakness in the network. Because most people do not know how the router works so they also have no idea that they must make security adjustments to the device.

For example, you must make sure that your firewall on the router is activated. Sure your computer may have a firewall that is already installed on the machine but that only protects that one computer.

It does not protect the whole system. So turning on the firewall that comes with the router is always a good idea. Now that you have the firewall on, you have closed out many of the open ports that happen on a network.

You must think about not only remote intruders on the network but also local intruders as well. Make sure you set up the encryption and the password on your home router. This will make sure that no one is able to get on the network that is near it.

If you do not set this up then anyone who is near your home will be able to connect to your network. You do not want this to happen because you never know what they will do it. You might be charged with downloading something illegal because you allowed someone else on your network.

An extra security measure that you can also take when it comes to your router is to make sure that only the right MAC address can connect to it. A MAC address is the network card’s unique number. Every item that is able to connect to a network is given one. So you can limit the router to only allowing certain MAC addresses to connect to it.

So as you can see, when it comes to the home router there are a lot of holes in it that you as the user must address. Luckily for us these days router manufacturers have set the defaults settings of the routers to be more secure but that is not all that needs to be done. You must make sure that you go over and check and see if everything is secure yourself.

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Post Rating I Like this!
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Allan Pratt, MBA Excellent reminders!
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Lee Munson Thanks!
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