As the number of people integrating smart home technology into their lives continues to increase, so does the importance of protecting these devices and data that is stored in them.
Setting up a smart home is an exciting process: It lets you control your home’s appliances and other connected devices with the simple touch of a button. However, it’s important to remember that while these systems can be incredibly convenient, they are also exposed to certain security risks.
To help you ensure your home is as secure as possible, here are nine essential tips to keep in mind.
Let’s dive in!
1) Research the security features of your devices
Before purchasing any smart home device, take the time to research the security features it offers. In addition, it’s essential to understand what type of data the device collects and how it is stored and shared.
Make sure that the device has encryption features that keep your data safe and that the company providing the device offers regular software updates to fix any vulnerabilities that may arise.
Look for devices that offer two-factor authentication or biometric identification, like fingerprint or facial recognition, for an added layer of security. When purchasing these devices, prioritize those built with security in mind and those that offer privacy protection features.
Remember to take the time to thoroughly research each device’s features before bringing it into your home. This simple step can help protect you and your family’s data and prevent any security breaches or hacks.
2) Change all the default passwords on your devices
Hackers can easily access your devices if they know the default password, which is often easy to find online.
When creating new passwords, use strong, unique ones that are difficult to guess. Use a mix of both upper and lowercase letters, and add numbers and symbols. Also, avoid using words or phrases that relate to your personal life.
Additionally, it’s important to never reuse passwords for multiple devices or accounts. If a hacker can guess them, they can access your devices and personal information.
Lastly, consider using a password manager to make it easier to manage and create passwords. By changing your default passwords and using strong ones, you’re taking an important step towards securing your smart home.
3) Keep your devices and software updated
Updates should include security patches that address vulnerabilities and bugs. Failure to update your devices can leave them exposed to cyberattacks. One of the most common ways hackers gain access to smart homes is through outdated software.
To ensure your devices and software are up to date, check for updates regularly, then install them promptly. Most devices have an option for automatic updates, which can make the process more convenient.
Taking the time to update your devices and software regularly may seem tedious, but it’s very effective.
4) Choose a reputable company
Not all smart home devices are created equally; some may have weaker security features than others. To make sure you’re working with a trustworthy company, do your research.
Read reviews and examine the company’s security protocols. Remember that the safety of your home and personal data is at stake, so it’s crucial to work with a company you can trust.
5) Don’t store sensitive data on your devices
One terrible mistake you can make with your smart home devices is storing sensitive information on them. This could include credit card information, personal identification, or medical information.
Not only storing sensitive information on your devices puts you at risk of identity theft and financial fraud, but it also puts your physical safety at risk if the wrong people gain access to that information.
Instead, opt to store this information on secure servers or in the cloud and only access it when necessary. Use strong passwords or biometric authentication methods to access this data, and don’t share those credentials with anyone else.
Remember that your smart home devices should make your life easier and more convenient, not put you at risk.
6) Monitor your devices
This means keeping an eye on the activity and usage of each device in your home. Doing so lets you quickly spot any suspicious behavior or unusual activity.
To monitor your devices, check the device logs and activity history regularly to get an idea of what the device has been doing and when. Another option is to set up alerts or notifications for certain events or activities, such as when someone accesses a device remotely.
Another important aspect of device monitoring is keeping an eye on your network traffic. You can use a network monitoring tool to see what devices are connected to your network and what data is transferred between them. This can help you spot any unauthorized access or suspicious activity.
7) Limit who has access to your home
While giving everyone in your family access to your devices may be tempting, doing so can leave your home vulnerable to hacking and other security risks.
To limit who has access to your home, start by creating user accounts for each person who will be using your devices. Assign everyone a unique username and password, and make sure they are not shared with anyone else.
Next, set up permissions for each user account based on what they need access to. For example, you may want to give your children access to your security cameras instead of your smart door locks.
Finally, consider using geolocation to control access to your home. Many smart home devices can be set up to only work when you are within a certain distance of your home.
8) Get to know your neighbors
In addition to the technical security measures you can take, building relationships with your neighbors is important. Your neighbors can also help you keep an eye on your home when you’re away.
Getting to know your neighbors can help establish trust and mutual support that can be invaluable in preventing and responding to security issues. You can also share information about security threats and collaborate on solutions that benefit everyone.
Find people you will trust the most, research them on Nuwber to know more about them, and ask if they are ready to help you. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and start building relationships – you never know when you might need your neighbors’ help.
9) Have a security plan
A security plan should outline what you will do in case of a security breach or other issues. It should include contact information for support and a checklist of things to do in the event of an incident.
Having a security plan not only helps you respond more effectively to safety breaches but also helps you avoid them in the first place. In addition, by clearly understanding what to do in such a situation, you’ll be better prepared to handle it when it happens.
To create a security plan, identify the key risks and vulnerabilities associated with your smart home devices. Next, consider how to mitigate these risks and reduce your vulnerability. Finally, develop a clear, concise plan that outlines what steps to take if a security incident occurs.
As our homes become increasingly advanced, prioritizing our safety is more important than ever. The 21st century has brought the convenience we all need, but along with it came the necessity to protect ourselves from hacking attempts that may put us and our loved ones at risk. Home is our vulnerable place, and, unfortunately, we’re completely unprotected unless we take the necessary safety measures.