Can’t seem to get your WiFi router to work properly? Have you been getting strange emails and websites popping up on your computer that you didn’t authorize? If so, it’s possible that your router has been hacked.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you how to tell if someone hacked your WiFi router and how to fix it. Keep reading for more information!
Is Your WiFi Router Hacked?
There are several ways you can tell if someone has hacked your WiFi router. Some of these signs include:
You Can’t Log In
You may be trying to connect to the internet, but you may find that your password does not work or is incorrect. If you are unable to log in to your router, it could be a sign that someone has hacked it and changed the login credentials.
Noticing unexplainable activity on your network, such as devices connecting to your network that you do not recognize, might be an indication that someone has hacked your router and is using your network for their own purposes.
Strange Pop-up Ads
You may also see pop-up ads on your screen that you have never seen before. This can be another sign that someone has hacked your router. Hackers use these ads to exploit your devices and steal data.
Slower Network Speed
If someone illegally got into your router and used it for their own purposes, you may experience slower than normal network speeds. However, that is not a sure sign that your network has been hacked. It could be that it is just running slow because of other reasons.
Another way you can tell if someone has hacked your WiFi router is if you notice any strange behavior on your network, such as devices disconnecting from the internet randomly even though there are no problems with your ISP.
If you discover that websites are redirecting to the wrong sites, this is an indication that your router has been hacked. This is a sign of malware on your router, which may put the security of your entire network at risk.
Software Auto Downloading
You may also notice that your computer is automatically downloading software even though you have not requested a download. If you find that something like this is going on, it could be a red flag that someone has hacked your router and installed malware on it.
Hacked Android Devices
If you notice some of your Android devices behaving erratically, such as automatically connecting to other networks, turning location services on, or sending text messages, it could be a sign that someone has hacked into your router.
If you find that your router is overheating, it could be a sign that someone has hacked it and installed malware. This malware can cause the router to work harder than usual and therefore overheat.
What Makes Your Router Vulnerable to Hackers?
There are several factors that make your WiFi router vulnerable to hackers. Some of these factors include:
The wireless network is more vulnerable compared to the other networks as there is no way to prevent physical access to it. That means anyone who can get into the range of the WiFi can get into the network without much difficulty. Moreover, hackers can perform both active and passive attacks on WiFi networks.
Default Login Credentials
Most routers come with a default username and password. The default login credentials for most of the routers out there are ‘admin’ and ‘1234.’ If you do not change these, they are easy for hackers to guess.
Router firmware is the software that runs on your router and controls its functions. Outdated firmware can leave your router vulnerable to hackers. Just like any other software, the firmware also needs to be updated from time to time. So, it is important to keep your firmware up-to-date.
One of the things about WiFi is you can use it without a password. If your network is not fastened with a password or other security measures, anyone in the vicinity can access your network and your data.
A weak password can also leave your router vulnerable to hackers. A strong password should include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols and should be at least eight characters long.
Misuse of Remote Management
Some routers come with a feature called remote management, which allows you to remotely access your router and manage its settings. If this feature is not properly secured, a hacker can gain access to your router and wreak havoc.
An outdated router is also vulnerable to hackers as its technology is outdated. In addition, hackers are constantly developing new ways to exploit routers, so it is important to keep yours up-to-date with the latest updates.
What Happens If Your Router Gets Hacked?
If your router gets hacked, there are several things that could happen:
Your Data Could be Stolen
Unfortunately, your router is an entry point for hackers to gain access to your network and devices. If someone hacks it, they could steal all of your personal data, such as passwords and banking information.
Your Devices Could be Disabled
Another thing that could happen is if someone hacks your router, they can essentially cut you off from the internet and disable all of your devices. This will prevent you from doing any work and can cause a major inconvenience and frustration for you and anyone else who relies on the internet service.
Your Network Could be Hijacked
If someone hacks into your router, it is also possible for them to hijack your network and redirect you to certain websites when you try to visit others. They could also install a virtual server on your system so that they can hack any devices that connect to the internet through your network.
A hacker can access your confidential data, including personal photos, bank account information, social security numbers, and passwords. They can leak these online, and the leakage of these important data can lead you to financial ruin and other serious consequences.
WiFi-enabled Devices Could be Disabled
If you own any WiFi-enabled devices such as smart locks or thermostats, someone hacking into your router could cause them to be disabled until you enter the password for your network again. Unfortunately, this is yet another inconvenience that can cost you time and money to fix.
Your IP Address Might be Stolen
If someone hacks into your router, they could also change the local IP address of your network and make it appear as though your IP is coming from somewhere else. They can then use this IP address to hack into other networks and devices.
Your Router Could be Damaged
If someone hacks into your router, they can download enough malware that will cause it to crash. While the router will restart, you might experience frequent downtimes and need a factory reset on it, which will erase all of your personal settings.
How to Fix A Hacked WiFi Router
If you think your router has been hacked, there are several things you can do to fix it:
Turn Off Wireless Connectivity
If you are unable to log in to your router or see unauthorized devices connected to your network, the first thing you should do is turn off the wireless connectivity on your router. This will help prevent the hacker from accessing your network and doing further damage.
Reset the Router
If you think the hacker has changed the login credentials, you can reset the router to default settings. This will erase all of the changes that the hacker has made and allow you to set a new password.
Update the Password
If you have reset your router, the next thing you should do is update your password. Make sure to choose a strong password that is difficult to guess. It should be bigger than usual and consist of numbers, letters, and characters.
Update the Firmware
Routers are vulnerable to hackers because of their outdated firmware. Upgrading your router firmware can help protect it from future attacks. The newer the firmware is, the better security you can expect.
Tips to Prevent Router Hack
There are several things you can do to help prevent your router from being hacked:
Change Default Login Credentials
When setting up your router for the first time, it may come with some default login details. Usually, this will be your username and password. You should always change these and make sure they are very secure.
Use WPA2/WPA3 Encryption
WiFi encryption plays a significant role in keeping your wireless network secured. When setting up your router, make sure you use either WPA2 or WPA 3 encryption. The WPA3 is the current industry standard, while the WPA3 is the most updated and secured encryption.
Limit WiFi Access
The fewer devices with access to your network, the less likely are you to be hacked. Limit this as much as possible because there is a limited number of combinations a hacker can use if your network allows five or fewer devices to connect.
Change your IP Address
If you have a dynamic IP address, meaning it is constantly changing, it can help to deter hackers from trying to break in. It will also protect you from DDoS attacks if they are launched against your router.
Keep Your Software Up-to-Date
If your computer has antivirus software, it can help protect your network. If a hacker gains access to the system and tries to install malware on the router, the antivirus can stop them before they do any damage.
Use A Firewall
A good firewall will help protect your home network from hackers. When you use a firewall, you can set it to control traffic across the router and only allow specific types of data through at different times.
We want you to be able to enjoy your internet connection without worrying about someone taking it from you. We hope this blog post has helped you understand the signs that your WiFi router is being hacked and what steps to take if it’s happening. Happy Browsing!