Why is it important to change default router settings?

The internet has changed drastically from the days we used a dial-up modem, where if someone was on a phone call and you wanted to get online you had to wait until they finished the call or vice versa. Nowadays the internet we have is fast depending on the region, Internet service provider and more. A typical internet setup today has a modem which is leased from the ISP, and then there is a router which can either be leased from the ISP as well or bought separately from a store. Most people see that the router will work by default straight from the store because it comes preconfigured. However keeping the default settings is a huge risk for multiple reasons. Here are the top 3 basic settings that must be changed upon purchasing a new router. By no means is this a full list or a fully detailed list. Since there are many more settings and configuration that can be done on a router. There are multiple options for a lot of this and various settings so we will attempt to keep this at a very basic level.

1: Every router has what is called an SSID this is the name that we see when scanning for available wireless networks from our computers or smartphones. The default one maybe is something like Netgear99 or Linksys depending on the router brand you purchase. This should be changed to something unique that will help you identify your router when you will connect to it. Keeping the default name is a risk because if an attacker was scanning wireless networks in the area the default name will give away the router brand. So this SSID must be changed to something of your own choosing.

2: The next thing that must be changed is the Security Key that is associated with the SSID, because if you recall when we typically connect to a wireless network we find the name which is step 1: and Step 2: asks for the password. Most routers come with a label underneath it that lists the SSID and Security Key that the company preconfigured on the router. So both of these must be changed because if someone was to physically gain access to your router they can simply look at the label and there is all the information they need. So we spoke about the SSID, now as for this Security key there are various settings for it the latest and secure one is WPA2 and the key that you create should be something once again unique and easy for you to remember but harder for others to guess. so instead of using something like password123456 try something more complex like P@$sW0rd!2#4%6 for example.

3: Lastly the third very important thing that must be changed is the Admin password. this is the default password used to gain access to the administrative settings of your router in which you configure various settings including the wireless functions. the default password is something blank or admin which is not secure at all. So this should be changed right away to something easy for you to remember, but make sure you don’t forget this password because if you do, then you will need to factory restore your entire router and reconfigure everything all over again.