One of the worst security habits is keeping bad passwords. This can mean using short and simple passwords, or re-using them across multiple sites. But there’s another danger: not changing the default password on your equipment.
Common computing hardware, specifically wireless routers, ships with default passwords. These are readily available on the internet — search for Linksys router default password and see how easy it is to find them.
If you haven’t ever changed the password on your router, you need to take a moment to do so. Leaving as it as the default leaves you wide open to attack from malicious folk, because they’ll have no problem getting into your network if they try.
Changing Your Router Password
Getting into your router’s settings is a little different for everyone depending on your network and router. Assuming you’re connected to your router wirelessly or via a network cable, here’s an easy way to determine your router’s address so you can login to it:
- Open a Command Prompt by typing cmd into the Start Menu.
- Type the command ipconfig to display information about your current network connection.
- Under Ethernet adapter (for wired connections) or Wireless LAN adapter (for wireless), look for the Default Gateway entry. This is the local address of your router. For many home networks, this will be 192.168.1.1. Take note of this, then enter it into the address bar of your web browser.
- After a few moments, you’ll be prompted to enter the username and password to login to the router. Assuming you haven’t changed it, you can find the default in the owner’s manual, on a sticker on the router, or by Googling your model number.
Once you’re inside, the method to change the password will depend on your router. Look for a heading like Administration, Security, or something similar. If you can’t find it, consult your user manual. Here, you can change the login name and password for getting into your router. Once this is done, make sure to note it somewhere so you don’t forget!
You should also consider changing the password of your wireless network if that’s set as the default. Look for Wireless or a similar header to find those options. Don’t stop with just the password — check out other tweaks that make your router even more secure.
Was your router’s password still set as the default? Let us know if you’ve secured your router in the comments!
Image Credit: Alexander Yakimov via Shutterstock