Newb openwrt as router question

Hi all,
I've used openwrt in the past as a bridge/wifi ap but never as the main router so I have some familiarity.

I was able to ssh via the public ip which I disabled. Is there anything else I should know? I haven't seen anything else from my research.

Also what would be the proper method of allowing/dropping data from the outside (verizon)? I could do it from ip but rather do it by port etc in case the public ip changes.

Just go under "Network", "Firewall", and Add a "Traffic Rule" for the WAN port you want to drop/reject.

This is fine, the OpenWrt firewall relies on the zone model, which is based on the source/destination interface which your traffic goes in/out, so the destination IP address doesn't really matter as long as it is the same host.

Incoming WAN traffic is blocked by default as well as the WAN to LAN forwarding.