Not many people know this, but malware isn’t limited to PCs and phones.
You can get malware on pretty much any gadget you own, including your router.
Here’s how to tell if yours has any issues.
Router malware: 7 tell-tale signs
Router malware isn’t spoken about as often as other types of malware.
But you should know that not all routers have robust security features, and some firmware is more prone to vulnerabilities.
So, you shouldn’t take your router security lightly.
But before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s one thing you should know. Before diagnosing any router problem, check matters with your internet service provider (ISP) first. They should confirm there are no technical issues with your router or the coverage in your area before you troubleshoot further.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s see 7 ways you can tell if your router has malware.
1. Your internet is slower
Your internet speed can depend on various factors, from your ISP to your devices to your router.
But if all your devices take their sweet time to connect and browse online, it’s a clear sign something is wrong, especially if your connections are suddenly much slower without any apparent reason.
2. Your router is physically hot
Your devices can sometimes overheat, depending on your activity. Things like gaming on high specs, having a lot of apps open, or even video editing can slightly raise your device’s temperature.
But routers are a different story. Regardless of what you do online, your router’s temperature should remain relatively constant.
3. Your internet connection crashes randomly
Constant connection crashes are never a good sign. Significant fluctuations in speed can also be a cause for concern.
If you start experiencing online downtimes without any prior warning from your ISP, you might want to look into the issue.
4. Your DNS server address has changed
For the average internet user, DNS will never be an issue. Since it’s usually automatically configured by your ISP, it doesn’t require much input from you.
So, if you notice your DNS server address changes randomly, contact your ISP to investigate the situation further.
If you use a custom DNS, a VPN, or proxy service and you notice sudden changes, check with your provider.
5. You’re getting redirected to unusual or weird-looking HTTP sites
This is a common sign of DNS hijacking or DNS poisoning. This is a type of attack in which DNS queries are incorrectly resolved in order to redirect users to malicious sites.
DNS hijacking is usually used for:
- Pharming: attackers typically display unwanted ads to generate revenue;
- Phishing: attackers show fake versions of websites you might access to steal your data or credentials.
6. Your online searches get redirected
This is a tell-tale sign of rerouted traffic, and many types of malware operate by redirecting your traffic.
The reason for this? So hackers can install other types of malware, try to steal your private data, or get ad revenue.
7. Your devices are showing malware symptoms
usually because any malware can act as a gateway for other cyber threats. So, make sure you keep an eye out for other threats, like:
Protect yourself from router malware
Malware is never easy to deal with. And especially for casual internet users, having a network infection can be a scary experience.
But here are some things you can do, even if you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy.
Update your firmware
Updates generally come with security patches, which might be a good thing if you have any router problems.
While updates might not be a fix for your malware, they’re worth a shot.
You can check for updates on the manufacturer’s website.
Change your password
Check out our tips for creating strong passwords.
If you have reason to suspect your network is infected, change all your passwords immediately. Start with your admin credentials, then move on to your accounts.
Better safe than sorry.
Install a VPN
A performant VPN adds an extra layer of security to your connections. Plus, with a VPN on your router, your laptops, phones, tablets, Smart TVs, and all the other IoT devices from your home are shielded from attacks.
Your entire digital life stays safe and protected, and you’re kept anonymous online.
Reset your router to factory settings
If you’ve confirmed you are dealing with router malware and you’re at an impasse, there’s always the option of resetting your router to factory settings.
This can delete most malware.
How about you? Did you ever deal with malware on your router? Let me in the comments below.
Until next time, stay safe and secure!