The newest trends in the home are smart home technologies. From the virtual assistants to the smart voice technologies, the smart hose locks systems, and other systems like the kitchen appliances and electronics having smart or intelligent technologies as their main operation systems, the entire household becomes a smart home. These intelligent devices are here to make life more bearable and reduce the amount of energy spent in manually operating even the smallest system. The smart home systems also help us to keep our homes safe from burglary and theft via the remote access to the videos of all activities going on at home. Even better, smart home technology has enabled us to be able to give commands to various intelligent devices from the comfort of our offices or vacations. So, these smart devices are all good, what exactly are their shortcomings, and how do we go about it? Read on.
How Smart Devices make the Home Vulnerable
The rise of cybercrimes over the years may not be entirely solved with the coming of smart home technology. The reason is, most of these smart home devices are connected to the internet, where the cybercriminal hibernate in search of easy prey. Cybercriminals can hack into your systems and spy on you using your web cameras or nanny cameras. This way they can discover ways of breaking in and causing you and your family harm.
Hackers can get access to the information you share with your voice devices like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. If the information you shared was personal or sensitive, they might use it to get to you. For example, if you shared passwords to Debit or Credit cards, your finances are at risk.
Cybercriminals can also use the information on your smart home system to know when you are not home. They can come up with their ways to break in and steal from you or even harm you. Devices like thermostats have different settings when you are home as well as when you are away, and a hacker can easily know via them whether or not you are home.
Most of the home intelligent devices do not offer you a mechanism to update it, and once it is not updated, it is more vulnerable than useful, and hackers can get to you anytime, and access your home to spy on you.
The smart home devices that you buy usually have default-set passwords that are easy to decode and hackers can get past them quickly. This feeling can be equated to having another person at home with you that you cannot see, but they can see you. It cannot get creepier than this.
The intelligent home devices do not have a system to harden them or secure them to enhance their security. Since hackers are good at accessing the internet, this means that they can crack their way through into your home, posing a potential threat.
Ways of Securing your Smart Home
Buy from known companies. When it comes to devices and appliances for your home, some companies have been known to offer only the best. There are also companies that are known to provide sub-standard goods. Companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon have a good reputation for manufacturing top-notch devices and appliances. Buying from such companies keeps off some of the fear, at least.
Read reviews for the devices. One of the best ways of ensuring you are purchasing a device that will give you both service and privacy is via the reviews of people who have used the device. This way, you know if what you are buying is indeed smart, or someone else is being smart.
Avoid public WiFi for your devices. Since most of these devices use the internet and run on internet connections, using public internet connections is like inviting people into your home, thereby compromising your security significantly.
Secure your WiFi router. You are advised to consider your router as the front door to your home. As such, the devices you input into the router must promote security for your home. The best way is to set a name for your router, and then set up a strong, secure password that is hard to encrypt for your WiFi.
Have a separate network. Create a guest network that is separate from your devices’ network where anyone who is not a family can log into. This way, nobody has access to your home, the people close to you are the ones who finish you up fast, remember.
Change default names and passwords. Do not carry on with the passwords and usernames you got from your dealer. These are very easy to trace via name and give easy access. Change them into your names, of course with passwords that are strong and hard to get past.
Ensure the two-step verification is enabled. Ensure you link your devices to your phone such that you get a notification for every happening. For instance, the one-time passcode sent to your phone will notify you if something is amiss.
Constant updates for your devices. Ensure your devices stay up to date and that all the necessary software is updated. Occasionally, switch off the devices entirely for a given period to allow for fresh restarts. Again, you can turn off devices you do not use to minimize the risk.
One Last Thing…
Ensure you run regular checks and audits on all the devices hooked onto your router. Do not just presume it is only you who is logged on, and hackers can be crafty. Regularly check for new devices you did not add and remove them and block them from your network. All these and many more on manufacturer websites will act as guidelines to keep your smart home safe from any cybercrimes.