More Information about Router Security and Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Broadband Home Router and why does it have a password?
The Broadband Home Router (“BHR”) manages your connection to the Internet, certain local area network (“LAN”) features and other network functions. The router includes a login screen for accessing the “administrative” controls for the router and to make changes to the router settings. A “username” and “password” have to be entered to log in to the router administrative controls.
- Why are you changing certain administrative passwords for the Broadband Home Router?
We were recently made aware of a potential broadband home router security risk, and we are currently reviewing administrative password security for the FiOS Broadband Home Routers that Verizon provides as a part of our FiOS services. In many cases, we are able to strengthen the password protection for routers that use “default” passwords like “password1” or “admin1” by changing the default password to a more secure password that is unique, but still easily available to our customers. We are changing the default password to match the router serial number, which is located on the Broadband Home Router. We are not changing the administrative “username” for the router. Customers will receive an email notifying them if their router’s default password was changed, and any changes made will not affect your Internet service in any way except to better secure your Broadband Home Router.
- Is Verizon the only company affected by this security issue?
No. This issue is not specific to Verizon.
- How will changing the Broadband Home Router password to the router’s serial number affect my service?
Changing your router’s password will not affect your service or the functionality of the router and requires no action on your part.
- Why are you using the Broadband Home Router's serial number as the password?
The BHR's serial number is unique and cannot be readily detected remotely or guessed by hackers. It is also easy for you to find the serial number on the back or bottom of the router.
- Will the Broadband Home Router be more secure using the router's serial number?
Yes. The serial number is much more secure than a default password, such as "password1."
- How do I find the Broadband Home Router's serial number?
You can find your router's serial number on a label attached to the bottom or back of your router beneath the barcode.
- Why are generic passwords at risk?
Generic passwords such as “password1” or “admin1” can be guessed by system attackers more easily than passwords that are unique to each customer.
- Does Verizon have access to the administrative password for my router?
The answer depends on the device. However, we can often tell whether the router administrative password is set to a default/generic password. When Verizon accesses the router, we do so for purposes such as maintaining the Internet service itself, changing settings, downloading router firmware, and improving network security.
- I am not using a router that was provided by Verizon - are you changing my password?
No. Default passwords for routers not supplied by Verizon will not be changed.
- What are some examples of strong passwords?
Strong passwords are not easily guessed and include a combination of letters and numbers. For more information, please visit the Strong Password page.
- I changed the password for my router to something that is not a default/generic password - - will this affect me?
Probably not. There is a small possibility that if you changed your Broadband Home Router password very recently (after July 1, 2010), we may not have detected the change and your router password will be updated as if it still had the default/generic password. In the unlikely event this happens, simply log in to the router using the serial number for the router as the password. You may then change the password to something else, using the router password change feature.
- Does Verizon monitor the Broadband Home Router?
Verizon monitors the health of customer connections and receives some data from the BHR. For example, we get updates when certain events occur, such as the router being reset to factory defaults. Verizon also pushes out updated firmware to the BHRs and may make configuration/setting changes as-needed to add features, correct bugs and improve security.
- Should I be worried about my computer's security?
There are always threats to your computer, but most of them can be avoided through basic steps applied consistently. Verizon keeps up with the latest findings in security research and provides services such as Verizon Internet Security Suite to further protect your systems. While no single action will fully protect a system, using a unique password is one step towards good security.