As of 2020, there are about 44 million Smart households in the US and the figures will only grow in the near future. Indeed, these smart home devices do provide a sense of security and comfort, but is it possible to use them without risks?
No smart product is safe when there are ever-increasing concerns about data breaches, identity theft, and online privacy.
Therefore, in this I will be discussing some of the best tips to keep your smart home safe from cybercriminals.
5 Best Tips to Keep Your Smart Home Safe from Hacking
Here are some of the tips you need to follow when keeping your Smart Home products safe from hacking:
1. Creating a Secure Wi-Fi Network
Most Wi-Fi routers are not secured and they use a generic password which is easier for anyone to access. The first thing that you should do to secure your Wi-Fi network is to install a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network or a VPN is an online privacy tool that completely encrypts your internet traffic and keeps your devices safe from malware and viruses.
Get yourself a router where a VPN is easily installed or you can install VPN apps on every device separately. Once your Wi-Fi network is secure, you can send and receive files without a problem.
If you don’t want to spend much money, you can get some of the least expensive VPNs from the market that are equally strong but offer affordable pricing.
2. Compare Vulnerabilities against Benefits
There is no IT infrastructure or even a device that is 100% secure. The only thing in our hand is to reduce the risk. Having said that, while buying a smart home product, you need to weigh the importance of using that product against the risks it poses.
You may want to ask yourself a question: ‘Does the convenience of the device is worth the risk of a hack? If it’s not, then don’t buy it. In order to make that decision, you need to research about the product a lot.
3. Create Strong Passwords for Everything
People do not know the importance of keeping a strong password. Whenever you buy a device, make sure you change the default password or otherwise your online protection is compromised.
Many devices are easy to hack because their password is consistent in all of their devices. Even when you are connected to a public Wi-Fi, hackers are able to identify the default password for any particular device if you haven’t changed your device name.
Hence, always take your passwords seriously. You should include at least 20 characters for password and it should include special characters and numeric.
4. Unplug Devices when Not in Use
You might want to unplug devices if you have gone out of town or country. This will help you in many ways. It will keep your energy bills down, but more importantly, it will also make your device inaccessible for cybercriminals.
However, you might want to turn on your camera, doorbell, and thermostat devices turned on, but you don’t necessarily have to turn on devices like smart speakers, vacuum, etc. You can even turn off your Wi-Fi if you think that you don’t need the internet to run other devices.
5. Remove Data from Device before Selling Them Out
Before you get rid of any devices, make sure you have saved every bit of information. However, the most important thing is to remove your data from that device.
Upon reading the manufacturer’s instructions, you can simply factory reset the device and make sure no stone is unturned or otherwise you will have to pay consequences. There are free tools available on the internet that can help you recover the previous data so be cautious about it.
Smart home devices are the future of every home in the US and other developed countries. Since most devices are connected to the internet, it does not make them 100% secure.
For instance, your cameras can be hacked and it can spy on you, your microphones on speakers can listen to you, and smart plugs can compromise your entire system.
The trick is to weigh the benefits and vulnerabilities of each device, use a VPN on your router to hide your digital footprints, and make sure you use a strong password for every device. The tips that I have mentioned above will help you ensure your home safety.