With around 300 million smart homes around the globe, it is clear that this technology is here to stay. It is convenient and makes everyday tasks a lot easier. Unfortunately, some smart gadgets can be compromised and turned against us.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use smart devices. Learn about the dangers and use the correct safety measures to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your network. Even if you have just a few smart gadgets in your home, you should ensure they are completely secure.
The importance of securing smart devices
The Internet of Things is an exceptional innovation that allows us to control various devices around the house. Unfortunately, some cybercriminals see these gadgets as tools to extort money and even harass people. In 2019, one family experienced a security problem with their Google Nest, and a hacker who broke into the device controlled the temperature in their house, played loud music, and even spoke to them through the device.
Essentially, every smart device in your home can be hijacked by cybercriminals, including smart TVs, home assistants, and even lightbulbs. But remember that all these gadgets are constantly collecting data about you. Some of us don’t know what data is sent to the manufacturer. If that company experiences a security breach, your personal information might be on the dark web.
Smart homes are a novelty, but users need to understand the risks and be willing to tackle them head-on.
Tips for securing your smart home
Smart home devices are an entry point for cybercriminals who want to break into your network and steal your personal information. Furthermore, gaining access to cameras and microphones can put your privacy at risk. You should learn about cybersecurity and apply steps to protect your network and gadgets. Here’s how to do it:
Before you purchase a new smart device, research the manufacturer and the gadget itself. Look at all the permissions your new device will need and which data it collects. Additionally, look into the history of security breaches regarding the device and the brand. If there were any security issues in the past, consider looking for a similar gadget made by someone else.
Security patches are made to protect the device, so remember to update them regularly. And don’t rely on notifications for available updates. Instead, check the manufacturer’s website now and then. Running the latest software is crucial to keep cybercriminals away from your smart home. Don’t forget to update the apps you use for the gadgets too. You don’t even have to go to the updates section often if you enable automatic updates.
Use a VPN
You can protect individual gadgets and increase your privacy by installing a VPN. For example, if you have an Amazon Firestick, the device gives you access to various streaming platforms and allows a VPN. A VPN for Firestick will unlock hundreds of titles and protect your data. Have you been experiencing slower internet speed while streaming? A VPN for Firestick could solve that problem for you even while watching HD content. Finally, installing a VPN for Firestick will add an important layer of privacy by hiding your location and streaming history. A VPN is such a versatile tool and a must-have for smart homeowners.
Secure your router
If you haven’t changed it already, your router probably has a default password that is easy to guess by anyone with basic research skills. Since it is the gateway to your home network, seasoned cybercriminals know how to exploit this and gain access to your router and all devices connected to the internet. Before you do anything else, set a new password for the router. Remember to include symbols, numbers, and upper-case and lower-case letters.
Be careful when naming your Wi-Fi network, and don’t give away any personal information, such as your address, birthday, or pets’ names. Creating a guest network for your smart home devices is also great. Cybercriminals won’t be able to access your smartphone or computer even if your gadgets have a security breach.