Many private networks are unsecure

Danes are careless when it comes to the security of their home routers, a new survey shows.

Only two out of three Danes secure their home network with their own password, while the rest either use existing factory settings or no password at all. That is the result of a new survey among 2,000 Danes performed by Userneeds for The Danish Engineering Society, IDA. 

31 per cent of Danes have not changed the factory-set password, four per cent do not know whether their home network is secure, and two per cent have not done anything to secure their routers. And that is a cause for concern with Jørn Guldberg, who is IDA's expert in IT security.

"Setting up your home network without changing the password is like leaving the front door wide open 24/7. This means that unauthorised persons can easily log on to the network and do as they please. Keeping the factory settings is roughly like closing the front door, but not locking it. From the outside, it is possible to see people's wi-fi connections. Both what kind of router it is and what manufacturer it is. And when the password hasn't been changed during setup, you can find the passwords online and access the connection," he says.

Jørn Guldberg stresses that if people's wireless networks are not secure, they are very vulnerable to intrusion into all the electronics connected to the network. And with an increasing degree of connected electronic devices such as tablets, fridges, heating control, smart TVs or home security cameras, our homes become playgrounds for cyber criminals.

In addition to causing great damage, IT criminals can also use your network to work from, something that can have serious consequences, Jørn Guldberg warns.

"As soon as they get access, cyber criminals can commit illegal offenses, hack, or download illegal material. And since it happens from your IP address, you automatically become the initial suspect and may even become accused. And even if you're innocent and are cleared of charges - it's never nice to be the object of accusation," says IDA’s IT security expert.