Security and comfort are two things that keep us all interested in smart home devices. Along with comfort comes the fear of these smart home devices getting hacked. How to protect your Smart Home devices from hackers?. We have listed a few points which will ensure you able to keep hackers at bay.
Understand Before you Buy
It is always better to understand your comfort level before you make a decision to buy any smart home device. For instance, a smart device with an Alexa voice assistant will always be alert, listening to your command. This might be creepy to some while a perk to others. Similarly, before buying a security camera, you need to understand the footage is being uploaded to the internet, are you ok with it. You need to draw a line, understand what you need to buy and what privacy levels you set for yourself.
Secure Wi-Fi network
Ensure you buy a router from established brands and follow instructions to change the default name of the network and default password. This will ensure hackers are not able to use common tricks to break into the network using the default passwords. Hiding the network is another option that can be achieved by making few changes in the router settings. Creating a second Wifi specific for smart home devices will allow you to create multiple networks. Each of them will have their own name and password. Creating a Guest network is also a good idea for your visitors to access your IoT devices.
Use strong passwords
Passwords have always been a key to keeping you and your devices secure. As we mentioned above reset the default passwords of the devices. It is not a good idea to use the same password for all accounts on your Wifi. A breach of a single account could lead to hackers potentially gaining access to all other accounts. Use a good password manager, as it will remember the passwords for you.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is commonly used by smart home device manufacturers like Amazon Echo, Arlo, Google Nest, Ring, and many more. Two-factor authentication is one step ahead of having a strong password in terms of your device security. It offers an additional level of security for your smart devices.
As it contains a six-digit code sent via text message or generated by Google authentication or Authy, even the most seasoned hackers fail to break into the device’s security.
Always Update Firmware
It is always a good idea to register every new device you purchase. The firmware needs to be updated from time to time. This ensures you get notifications and security update patches. An un-updated firmware can leave your device vulnerable to hackers who can exploit unpatched flaws. Most of the companies like Amazon, Arlo, Google, Ring, Wyze, and others provide details about how to check and update your firmware.
Replace Outdated Routers
Never use outdated routers, as the aging security protocols can provide an easier access point for bad actors. The latest smart devices use WiFi 6 standard which is gaining traction with users. You always need to have a contingency plan to update your router, as technology keeps getting updated.
If you are new to the game it is better to let the professional handle it. It is not always easy for newbies to make changes to the router settings. Many of the leading home security providers offer professional services to help set up smart home integration.
The technician can take care of the hardwiring for you.
Unplug devices when not in use
Remember to turn off the appliances while you are not using them. It will not only save energy bills but also make them inaccessible to hackers. Apart from the important security devices like the security camera, video doorbell, and thermostat, you can turn off the smart speakers, vacuums, etc.
Factory reset devices
Last but not the least, when you decide to dispose of the old router and buy a new one, remember to restore it back to factory settings. Follow the instructions provided by the vendor to remove all your personal data. This will avoid the information passing on to the next person accessing the device or while communicating with other devices on the network.