Smart homes are on the rise, and by the end of 2020, there could be more than 50 million smart households in America alone. With the growth rising with every new house coming up, the technology comes with its share of problems. You will often hear stories of how a home’s CCTV camera has been hacked and other various data breaches of the smart home. Smart home devices were manufactured to provide homeowners with more comfort and security at home.
However, they have their risks as they are prone to hacking, which mean the security system can be jeopardized if you are not careful.
Vulnerable Smart Home Products
Well, the truth of the matter is that all the smart home products are vulnerable to attacks by hackers. The smart devices in your home will be connected in a loop or network so that they can operate as a unit. These may include cameras, door locks, light bulbs, refrigerators, dog feeders, and garage door openers.
A hacker can exploit these devices to gain access to the smart home system and loot property. However, the most vulnerable could be wireless doorbells, garage door openers, and the smart sprinklers. Anyone can easily hack into these as they are passing across the street, if they have a Wi-Fi transmitter.
Tips to Protect Your Smart Home
Here are some essential hacks that you can apply to safeguard your home from scammers and hackers who may want to access your security system.
1. Protect your network
The smart devices can be able to access your home Wi-Fi network hence the name smart. Failing to secure your Wi-Fi network is merely exposing all your devices. Ensure you put a password on your system so that just no one easily accesses it. Leaving the system without any protection is just like traveling and leaving the door wide open.
The network ought to be locked down using a secure and unique password that is not used in any other accounts you may be having. You should also hide the password from view at any time you are inputting it. You could also separate the smart home devices from the smartphone and your computer by adding a guest network. This way, you can even easily take smart devices offline without having to shut down the entire system.
2. Go for reputable brands
Most of the security experts will advise you to stick with renowned brands. These established brands have a reputation to maintain; therefore, you expect their products to be high quality and very useful. They also have the infrastructure to produce high-end products. Such companies will apply enhanced security measures when creating their products as opposed to a startup company.
With these well-off companies, you can expect to receive updates on software and the fixing of any vulnerability in no time, hence giving you the best home network security solution possible . As always, the best way to determine which company to purchase from is by looking at their reviews online. Other users will leave their opinions and comments after using a particular company’s product, and this is what will guide you in choosing the ideal firm.
3. Unique Passwords
Most people never learn from the mistake of using the same password for all accounts and devices. If at all any of the accounts leak the password, then you are in for it. That is what happens mostly in Yahoo and Facebook when someone is hacked. A smart scammer will try out the password on other platforms and even your money accounts to see whether you use the same password all through
The best solution, therefore, is creating a brand new password for every account you decide to open. That should include all the shopping sites you open, anywhere you will be required to input a password, and even on the home network. Remembering all the new passwords you create can be problematic, but you can use software that creates new passwords and also keeps track of the generated passwords.
4. Secure the Devices
You can enhance the security of your smart devices even further with advanced security measures. Like many companies have added on the two-factor authentication to access smart devices. To successfully gain entry into the system, one has to input a code that is sent to a separate gadget that is connected to the account.
That means that if you are not the owner you cannot easily access since you will not have the code with you. Most manufacturers will enable users to receive automatic updates that will fix any vulnerability. Also, ensure that your system has a running and active antivirus. That will block any bugs trying to harm and corrupt the system. There are several antiviruses, such as Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Avast, etc.
5. Reset before Reselling
Upon reselling any smart device, you must erase all your information. That smart bulb, camera, or smart plug will still have your password if you do not reset it before giving it out to another user. The user could access all your information, alter and loot so many things. So before giving out or reselling any smart device, ensure that you factory reset it. Whichever the way it is factory reset, ensure that no information linking back to you can be found on the device. In any case, the smart device is broken, and it cannot be repaired then ensure it stays in pieces. Smash it thoroughly to make sure no one can retrieve anything from it.
Security is whose responsibility?
Pressure has continuously been mounting on manufacturers to employ stringent security practices. However, in as much as companies should enforce more tough security measures, it also starts with you and how you manage your system. You need to be very proactive and ensure you put in place all the necessary steps to safeguard your smart home.
[Image via: Google Images]