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Information Security at the University of Hawai‘i

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month: a collaborative effort between the government and industries to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Come back each week of October for a new page detailing different security information about online safety, home networks, personal data, and IoT devices.

Week 3: Home Network Security

Everyone connected to the Internet at home has a home network. These days, it's even simple to set up: You just plug the cables into their respective spots, turn everything on, and it works! Unfortunately, that's where many stop configuring their home network. Many cyber criminals are able to break into home networks simply because the device was never updated or the admin password was never changed.

Below are some tips to get you started with securing your home network by configuring your router. Please note: Every router is different and may not offer all the features listed below.

  • Change the default Admin password to a strong one. The admin credentials are normally very easy to guess and it is even easier to find it on the Internet.
  • Turn on WPA2 PSK security on the Wireless AND change the default password. This option requires you to provide a password to connect to the network. Like the admin credentials, the default password is also easily found on the Internet. You never want malicious users on your network.
  • Turn off ICMP ping response. This option will stop the router from responding to ping requests, and will act like the device is unreachable. This will stop people from determining if your IP address is active and a device is using it.
  • Turn off Remote Administration. This option will disable the ability to log into the router and change settings from the Internet. If you leave this on, anyone on the Internet can try to log into your router.
  • Update your router's firmware. Security holes are found and patched around the clock, so it is important to keep your router up to date to prevent it from being vulnerable to known attacks.


US-CERT Vulnerability Alerts

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) provides the latest updates about current threats and vulnerabilities. You can subscribe to their feed to get the latest updates about ongoing vulnerabilities and other cyber threats.

Visit to learn more.

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