Most homes today are full of smart devices. From smart TVs, security cameras, smart thermostats, and smart locks, you are likely to encounter a smart device everywhere you turn. Thanks to these devices, life has been easier for homeowners. For instance, smart security devices ensure you feel safe from any sort of intrusion as you relax at home.
What you probably didn’t know is that these smart devices could make you vulnerable to security threats as well. If you are not careful, for instance, cyber criminals could access your security cameras.
Are you scared?
Do not throw your gadgets just yet.
In this article, you will learn ways in which your home security could be under threat. Moreover, we will discuss how you could protect your privacy.
Ways your smart devices are vulnerable
Cybercriminals can hack your smart devices in the following ways:
- They can hack the data on your thermostat and find out when you are home and when you are away.
- Have you ever used a voice-activated speaker (digital assistant) to share information like passwords or financial details on platforms like online shopping website? The cybercriminals can access this information and rob you.
- They can hack your network through an IoT device through a ransomware attack.
Why your smart devices are vulnerable to hackers?
- They have no in-built security. This leaves devices like home routers and security cameras vulnerable to malware.
- The smart devices lack system hardening and thus have no means of protection and security.
- They have no procedure of updating software, which makes them easy targets to hackers.
- These devices have default passwords, which cyber criminals easily crack.
How to protect your privacy when using smart devices and technology at home
Name your router
Your router will keep using the manufacturer’s name unless you update it. This name can easily inform hackers of the make and model of your router, thus making it easier for them to hack it. Do not use any of your personal details to name the router. You do not want to risk unintentionally giving cyber criminals your personal details.
Use a strong encryption procedure for Wi-Fi
In the settings of your router, use strong encryptions like WPA2 when setting up the network access of the Wi-Fi. This will increase the security of your communications and network.
Change default usernames and passwords
Expert cybercriminals know the default passwords that come with many IoT devices. When buying IoT devices select those that allow you to change the user name and password. Some devices do not allow the user to change the default passwords. As such, you need to confirm from your supplier what kind of device it is before you pay for it.
Use strong complex passwords
For your Wi-Fi networks to device accounts, use passwords that are not predictable or common. Most people are easily hacked because they use names of their loved ones or pets, which hackers can easily find out. Use stronger passwords by combining words, numbers, and special characters for better security.
Most smart devices come with default settings that may have features that make you detectable to cyber criminals. An example of such a feature is an enabled remote access. Most devices in your home, like the router, do not require remote access. This feature can make it easy for a hacker to connect to your devices.
Update your software
Software updates are important because they may fix a security flaw that the current software lacks. As such, constantly update the system software of your home devices as well as that of your smartphone. Security updates are critical because they might make the devices more secure and safe from malware and hackers.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is a hot spot for most hackers. When you connect to public networks, you make your devices more vulnerable to attackers. If you must use public network, use a VPN. It is more secure.
Use two factor authentication
Ensure most of your smart devices at home have a two-factor authentication. This means that you will undergo two steps of authentication in order to prove that you are the true user of the device’s account. One-step can be to log in using the usual username and password. The next step can be to put in a confirmation code sent to your email or phone number. This will discourage hackers.
Have a guest network
To avoid any risks of being hacked, have a different account for the guests who may visit you. This will enable you to keep your account private and ensure no foreign devices will have access to your network.
In the future, you might even need more smart devices in your home. After all, the devices are convenient, easy to use, and capable of boosting the security of your home. All you will need to do is keep them safe from cybercriminals, and you can enjoy their benefits.