Simple WiFi mistakes could let hackers empty your bank and steal your logins
MILLIONS of internet users are leaving their home routers exposed to cyber crooks.
New research suggests that as many as half of us have never changed the factory default settings on our WiFi routers.
Experts at cybersecurity giant Avast warn this leaves them vulnerable to hackers, who can easily guess your credentials.
If a hacker knows the password to your Wi-Fi network, they can use your internet connection to do whatever they want.
This can range from using your data to stream videos and download files, to performing illegal activity.
To find out how many people still use their default router credentials, comparison site BroadbandGenie surveyed 1,320 broadband users.
They found that half of internet users have never changed the factory default settings on their home router.
A staggering 87 per cent have never changed the display name of the WiFi network and 84 per cent have never changed their router admin password.
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When asked why they hadn't changed their credentials, one in seven of those surveyed said they did not know why they would need to modify settings on their router.
One in five respondents said they did not know how to change their router settings.
Luis Corrons, Security Evangelist at Avast, said: “If you’ve never updated the login credentials after installing a router, you’re setting yourself up as an easy target for a router password hack.”\
“If someone can reach your Wi-Fi network, they can try logging into your router with that information.
"If they’re successful a whole new set of threats can emerge, from spying on your internet traffic to hogging your bandwidth, stealing sensitive information you enter into unencrypted websites, and installing malware.”
It's advised that you change both your network and router passwords if they are still set as the default shown on the attached sticker.
Passwords should be unique and contain at least 12 characters using a mixture of upper and lower case letters and numbers.
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You can change your router settings by opening up your web browser and typing or copying and pasting in your IP address.
Instructions on how to do this should come with your router.
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