Tips for Securing Your Smart Home Today

Tips for Securing Your Smart Home Today

Many people want to protect their office computers and financial data from prying eyes and take steps to boost security — but they forget to also keep hackers at bay when it comes to their smart-home devices.

With so many people now owning these types of interconnected products, hackers are targeting homes more and more, seeing them as a way into other networks and systems. As such, it’s important for you to take steps to protect your internet-enabled gadgets today.

Read on for some simple yet effective tips you can follow.

Choose Good Brands

For starters, it helps to choose brands known for their security when you buy smart-home products. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get drawn in by the most affordable brand on the market. However, you should be considering security as a top priority.

Trusted brands that have been around for a while tend to have a better reputation security-wise. They typically are more serious when it comes to product development and manufacturing as well as updating through time.

Change ID Names and Passwords

Once you’ve selected your gadgets, it’s time to set them up at home. Before you jump straight into using them, don’t forget to make a few changes. That is, make sure you change the ID names and passwords that come automatically preinstalled on goods.

Manufacturers ship items out with default usernames and passwords, which they use across all their products. Although brands put instructions in their user guides for how consumers can change the settings on devices, many people don’t bother reading the instructions or making the updates.

This is something hackers know (it’s public knowledge, and displayed on forums, brand websites and the like) and use to their advantage. When they notice the default username, they guess you’ll have the same password that came with the device, and they will determine your home and gadgets to be vulnerable. You need to update these settings ASAP if you want to stay off the cybercriminals’ radar.

Secure Your Home’s Wi-Fi

Similarly, it’s important to secure your home’s wi-fi so hackers can’t attack your gadgets through your network. Since smart-home goods use the internet to complete their functions, hackers can access your devices via an unsecured wireless network.

To stay safe, put a complex username and password on your modem. The username you choose shouldn’t be your name, children’s names, pet names, birth date or related to any other information about you hackers might find online.

As well, your password needs to be at least eight characters long and made up of a mixture of symbols, numbers and upper- and lower-case letters.

Protect Your Computers

You need to think about protecting all the computers you use to control your smart-home devices. Cybercriminals can hack into your computers if they’re not secure and then find their way into your smart-home products in turn. From your computer, hackers could switch off your home’s security cameras and/or alarm systems and even unlock your front door or garage, if these are all internet-connected.

To stay safer, install maximum security protection onto your computers. A comprehensive product will cover you against viruses, spam, spyware, ransomware and all types of malware. Look for a well-established, trusted name in security, too.

Firewalls are another important line of defense. They are particularly helpful at stopping hackers from attacking via an internet connection. Before you go out and buy a product, though, check your computer’s settings.

Many manufacturers pre-load firewalls as firmware, but your firewalls might not be activated. You may need to change your computers’ security settings before you install additional security systems.

Update Software Regularly

Lastly, don’t forget to update all your software, plus firmware and drivers, as time goes by. Updates are provided by the manufacturers of products to plug security gaps which open up over time and which hackers can use as a means of gaining access.

As such, you should set up everything to update automatically, so you’re always as protected as possible. With the right mindset and behaviors — as well as the right devices and software tools — you can have your smart home and enjoy it, too.

Editorial Team
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