Don’t we all just love those smart devices? Aren’t they super convenient? Don’t they save so much time? Ah, how can one live without today’s tech? It’s such a blessing, isn’t it? Or then again is it? Smart home devices often have weak protection against cybercriminals and hackers. But why do you need to care about something like the thermostat? Or isn’t the security camera there to improve your security in the first place? Let us help you to know how to secure your smart devices?
Don’t be alarmed and don’t start getting rid of all your smart devices yet either. You might be wondering for example why someone would want to hack into your smart thermostat. What would they get by knowing the temperature you set in the house? Or you might be wondering what anyone would do with the information about what you eat in the smart fridge. The thing is hackers may use your smart home devices which tend to have weak security to access your home network and then your laptop and files. Well, that escalated quickly didn’t it? Unfortunately that’s the truth of how hacking can work.
Apart from this though hackers can mess with your devices in ways that almost torture you such as setting the thermostat so low while you’re on vacation that your pipes might burst. They can use your smart security cameras to actually spy on you. A potential danger of a hacked camera is the fact that if someone wants to break into your house they can spy on you long enough to figure out your daily routine and vulnerabilities. There have also been cases of hackers hacking into smart TVs and playing inappropriate content or hacking into smart speakers to play sounds randomly. All rather creepy especially if you live alone.
So how can you protect your smart home devices? Believe it or not it isn’t actually that hard. Most smart devices’ security can be upgraded fairly easily. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at these tips and tricks below:
6 Fantastic Ways To Secure Your Smart Devices
1# Change The Password
Believe it or not most people out there will buy a smart device and then not change the password. This is extremely dangerous? Why? With shopping have switched to the online sphere, companies upload the user manuals of smart home devices online. Practically anyone can Google these manuals, flip through a few pages and find out the default password set by the manufacturer for that device. In fact the Mirai botnet attack actually made use of many IoT devices that were so easily compromised for this very reason.
2# Back To the Basics: Protect Your Router
There’s a reason everyone emphasizes the need to protect your router; it’s the first line of defense against hackers. Having an unsecured router is like asking criminals to walk through your front door. Yes, you read that right. Now you’re probably wondering how do you secure your router? So let’s dive into it. Firstly you should change your router’s default name. While many of us change the password we don’t change the name which often includes the router manufacturer and model. This makes it easier for hackers to crack your security. Hence, it is best to keep a name that is different and has no relevance to your home address or personal details.
In addition to this when you do change your password try to keep one that is extremely long and has a good mix of letters, special characters, capitalizations, etc. In doing so your password’s strength will increase significantly.
3# WPA2 Or WPA3 Only!
Older routers may have made use of WEP (Wireless Equivalent Privacy), but that technology is now outdated. In fact by today’s standards it is considered so poor that it is the equivalent to inviting hackers to steal your data and mess with you. Your router must make use of at least WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) or WPA3 encryption. WPA3 would be the best option with its 128-bit encryption thought WPA2 encryption is fairly sufficient in that it protects your Wi-Fi access points as well.
4# Different Login Details
Make sure to use different login usernames and passwords for each of your devices. By doing so even if one of your smart devices get compromised your other devices may remain secure. So if you’ve been keeping your kid’s or your spouse’s birthday as the password for every device then you need to stop doing that!
5# Password Manager Tool
Want to keep complex passwords but they’re just too hard to remember. Well don’t worry because there is a solution to everything out there and in this case there’s a wonderful thing called a password manager. As the name suggests it literally saves and manages all your login credentials for you using strong encryption and a master password. This is great for those who can’t remember all their passwords; the only catch is don’t ever forget your master password!
6# Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
When you integrate 2FA into your logging in process for a device you are essentially adding another barrier to prevent hackers from hacking into your devices. How? Well when you use this safety measure a verification code is used to confirm your identity as the authentic person trying to log in. This verification code is usually sent to you via email or via text message.
In fact many people already use this system with their email accounts meaning when they try to log in a verification code gets sent to their phone along with them having to enter their password.
While awesome internet deals with cheap prices like Hargray bundle prices exist, the potentially harmful threat of hackers remains. Of course you can’t cut off the internet because we live in the 21st century and practically everything runs on the net, but you can most certainly take precautions to protect your online safety. If you implement the actions we listed above you should for the most part be safe.