A Wi-Fi hack can be extremely dangerous. A hacker can spy and gain access to any information sent out from all of the devices on your hacked network. This can include login credentials and passwords, as well as other personal and financial information. A hacker can also plant malware on your device. We’ve all heard the warnings about using public Wi-Fi, but did you realize your home Wi-Fi is vulnerable as well? A hacker can even hack into your phone over Wi-Fi and listen to your private conversations. They can basically monitor all of your unencrypted traffic. There are many warning signs of a Wi-Fi hack that you can watch for.
Gaining access to your home network can be as simple as a hacker guessing a password. It’s easier than you think. Routers often come with a preset default password that a manufacturer will use for all devices. It’s up to you to change that password. If you don’t, a hacker could easily look up the default password associated with a specific type of router and use it on many devices. If you are having any of the issues mentioned below, there’s a chance a hacker has compromised your Wi-Fi.
Watch for these 10 warning signs of a Wi-Fi Hack
- Your router Login is not working. Having trouble logging into your router’s admin settings is an important sign that you may have been hacked.
- There is more activity than usual on your network. You might receive an alert from your internet provider of increased or unusual activity. Take these alerts seriously.
- Your internet is unusually slow. While experiencing slower-than-usual internet speed may be normal at times, prolonged slower speeds can be a sign that an unwanted Wi-Fi intruder has gained access to your network.
- Unfamiliar devices or IP addresses are detected.
- An increase in pop-u ads. This can be another important warning sign of a router hack. The ads often have adware hidden inside to launch once they are installed onto your device. Never click or download any suspicious pop-up ads.
- There is suspicious activity on your network.
- You receive ransomware messages. This is a big sign that you have a hacked router. The hacker can seize control of the router and demand money for its release. Don’t fall prey to this, try to reset your router, as we suggest trying a reboot below.
- Unauthorized software installations are taking place on your devices. This can be another telling sign of a hacker.
- Your web browsers all go to the same website.
- Your background pictures on your display screen disappear.
How to stop a Wi-Fi Hack
- Disconnect your router from the internet. This might immediately stop a cyberattack.
- Try a Reboot. Rebooting or resetting your router might help you to interrupt any active malware on your network and identify which of your other devices may be infected. Unplug your router or modem from its power outlet. Wait 20-30 seconds and plug it back in. Allow the device a few minutes to turn back on.
- Change your router’s admin credentials. We mentioned at the beginning of our blog that if you get a new router, it comes with a default password. You should always change the network name (SSID) and password.
- Change your account’s password and be sure to use a very complex password. Steer clear of easy or guessable passwords.
- Update the router’s firmware. Just like your computer software, routers have updates too. Set up automatic firmware updates to ensure there are no vulnerabilities.
- Protect your network with a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). This will encrypt your traffic. Be sure to shut off open VPN access.
- Download antivirus software to prevent malware from being downloaded onto your device.
- Disable remote router access. You can disable this under the router’s admin settings.
- Kick any unknown device(s) off the network and change the password.
- Ensure all of your home devices have anti-malware and anti-virus software.
- Consider identity theft monitoring.
Because so many people are now working from home, hackers have stepped up their efforts to hack home Wi-Fi networks. Unfortunately, many of us are just not prepared or suspect this type of attack on an in-home device. Take the warning signs of a Wi-Fi hack seriously. Proactively addressing your router and Wi-Fi security and closely monitoring your network activity can help reduce your risk of being hacked.
Want to learn more ways to protect yourself from potential scams? Read our blog “Warning; Text Scams are on the Rise.”