Routers are an essential component of any home network, providing internet access to all devices connected to the network. However, if your router gets hacked, it can be a major security risk, compromising your personal information and potentially allowing hackers to access your other devices. In this article, we will discuss how to fix a hacked router and provide some tips on how to prevent future attacks.
2. Signs that someone hacked your router
Before we dive into how to fix a hacked router, it's important to know the signs that indicate someone has gained unauthorized access to your router. Here are a few common signs that your router has been hacked:
2.1. You can’t log in to your router
One of the most obvious signs that your router has been hacked is that you can't log in to the router's admin page. If your username and password are no longer working, someone may have changed them to lock you out.
2.2. All internet browsers lead to the same site
If all your internet browsers are leading to the same site, even when you type in different URLs, it's likely that your router's DNS settings have been changed.
2.3. There’s strange software on more than one device
If you notice that strange software has been installed on more than one device on your network, it's possible that your router has been hacked, and the software is a result of that.
2.4. You receive a ransomware message
If you suddenly receive a ransomware message on your device, it's possible that your router has been hacked and the ransomware is a result of that.
2.5. You see unrecognized devices on your network
If you see unfamiliar devices connected to your network, it's likely that someone has gained access to your router and connected their own device.
2.6. You can’t control your device
If you notice that your device is acting strange or you can no longer control it as you used to, it's possible that your router has been hacked.
2.7. Your internet speeds are slower than snails
If your internet speeds are slower than usual, it's possible that someone is using your network without your knowledge, which can cause a slowdown in your internet speeds.
3. How To Fix A Hacked Router
If you suspect that your router has been hacked, here are some steps you can take to fix it:
Step 1: Disconnect the router or wireless gateway
The first step is to disconnect your router or wireless gateway from the internet by unplugging the cable that connects it to the modem. This will prevent the hacker from accessing your network while you fix the problem.
Step 2: Power cycle or reset your router or wireless gateway
Power cycling or resetting your router or wireless gateway can help to remove any malware or unauthorized settings that may have been installed. Consult your router's manual for instructions on how to reset it to its factory settings.
Step 3: Change the password
Once you have reset your router, change the default password to a strong, unique password that is difficult for anyone to guess. Avoid using common words or phrases and use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Step 4: Update the firmware
Updating your router's firmware can help to patch any security vulnerabilities that may have been exploited by the hacker. Check your router manufacturer's website for the latest firmware update and follow their instructions to install it.
4. How to prevent a router hack
While fixing a hacked router is possible, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to help prevent a router hack:
4.1. Turn on automatic updates
Enable automatic updates on your router to ensure that you are always running the latest firmware, which may include security patches.
4.2. Use a secure password
4.3. Schedule routine reboots
Scheduling routine reboots can help to prevent any malware or unauthorized settings from persisting on your router. Rebooting your router once a week can help to keep it running smoothly and prevent any potential security issues.
4.4. Disable remote access
Disable remote access to your router's admin page to prevent anyone from accessing it from outside your network. If you need to access your router remotely, use a VPN to create a secure connection.
4.5. Disable WPS
WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) is a feature that allows for easy setup of wireless devices, but it can also be a security risk as it can be easily hacked. Disable WPS on your router to prevent unauthorized access to your network.
4.6. Change the default SSID
Changing the default SSID (network name) of your router can prevent hackers from easily identifying and targeting your network. Choose a unique name that doesn't reveal any personal information.
4.7. Never click or tap on strange links
Phishing emails and links can be a way for hackers to gain access to your network. Avoid clicking on any suspicious links or emails, and always verify the sender's identity before taking any action.
Fixing a hacked router can be a time-consuming and stressful process, but by following the steps outlined in this article, you can take control of your network's security and prevent future attacks. Remember to always stay vigilant and implement best practices for network security to keep your personal information safe.
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