If you’re a lover of tech gadgets, you’re probably one of the millions of people globally who has purchased a variety of smarthome products for their house. These days, consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to internet-connected things such as entertainment systems, lights, appliances, locks, cameras and more.
However, while you surely have a lot of fun with your smart gear, and may find it saves you time and makes your life easier, keep in mind that due to the boom in the smarthome industry, more hackers than ever are also paying attention to this market and using it as a means of breaking into properties and devices to steal information and physical items.
To keep yourself, your family, your data and your possessions safe, you must take steps to secure your smarthome devices and keep hackers at bay. Read on for a selection of things you can do today to do just that.
Buy Trusted Brands in the First Place
It is a good first step to buy smarthome products from trusted brands. The reason for this is that the large, well-known, reliable manufacturers that have been around for a while tend to have more of a focus on security. This covers when they design and build devices, and later on when they create security updates for them, too. The bigger names in tech usually have more eyes on devices and users, watching what and how they do things, which leads them to increase their security vigilance to protect customers.
Password Protect Your Wi-Fi
The next step is to password protect your Wi-Fi connection at home. This will help to stop hackers from accessing your wireless internet and using this connection to find a way into your smart gear. These smarthome products are connected to the net all day every day, and cybercriminals know this and try to take advantage of it.
To protect yourself, put a hard-to-crack password on your Wi-Fi. This code should be a minimum of eight characters in length and made up of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using any passwords that relate to information you’ve publicly posted online, such as on your social media pages or website. For example, steer clear of child or pet names, birthdates, addresses, emails, lucky numbers, favorite colors and the like.
Change the ID Settings on SmartHome Products
When you get your new smarthome products home, change the ID settings pre-installed on them by the manufacturers. Most brands use default usernames and passwords on all their gadgets and provide details for how customers can update these settings in their instruction manuals.
The problem is that many people don’t actually take these steps, which leaves them vulnerable. Cybercriminals are aware that default settings are the norm and can easily find out standard usernames and passwords because they’re listed on manufacturer websites or talked about on public forums.
If you don’t take care, hackers can use this ID information against you. If they scan your area and see the ID name of a particular manufacturer coming up on their list of nearby connected products, they’ll see you haven’t updated details and will know the password to use to get into your device. They’ll also see you as more vulnerable to attack in general and will be more encouraged to target your home. Avoid this by changing settings straightaway.
Install Quality Security Software on Your Devices
Keep in mind that hackers know consumers often use their tablets, smartphones and laptops to control smarthome products via the apps created for just this purpose. As such, if cybercriminals get into your computer gear, they can find their way into your smarthome devicesfrom there and potentially also get into your home.
Keep thieves at bay by installing quality security software on your related devices. Choose max security antivirus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and anti-malware products, which will keep you protected from numerous threats. Also, adding firewalls onto your computers helps to add an extra layer of security.
Keep All Tech Up-to-date
Lastly, always keep all your tech up-to-date, as this is another way to stop hackers from breaking in. You need to regularly update all the firmware, drivers and software on your internet-connected gadgets so any security holes are plugged. It’s wise to set everything to update automatically, so whenever new releases come out from manufacturers, they will be uploaded ASAP, and you don’t have to try to remember to do this yourself manually.