Millions of home broadband Wi-Fi routers in the UK could be at risk because many internet users do not take basic security precautions that could protect them from online threats, research from Broadband Genie has found.
Broadband Wi-Fi routers at risk
In a survey of 1,320 broadband users, it was discovered that 88% have never updated their router firmware and 84% have never changed their router admin password.
On average, a typical home network will have ten connected devices yet 72% also said they had never checked to see what devices are linked to their router. Overall, 48% of the respondents said they had never carried out any of the actions listed in the survey.
Luis Corrons, Security Evangelist at Avast explains the risk: “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. And 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.”
Router’s default settings modification falling short
When asked the main reason why they had not made any of these changes, 73% said they did not know why they would need to modify settings on their router, while 20% said they did not know how.
Matt Powell, Editor of Broadband Genie, said: “In 2018, we ran a similar study that found 52% had never modified their router’s default settings. It’s disappointing to see this number has barely shifted. Most concerning is the very high percentage of UK broadband subscribers who don’t even know why they should be making any of these changes.
“ISPs should ensure Wi-Fi routers are as secure as possible out of the box and provide clear guidance and support to help users of all skill levels adjust key router security settings.
“If you’re unsure how to adjust your router settings, there are comprehensive resources online and your ISP will be able to help if you require further assistance”