Smart security: How to protect your smart home devices from hackers
The Global Smart Home Devices Market was valued at US$14.55 billion (€13.2 billion) in 2018 and is expected to reach $40.23 billion (€36.5 billion) by 2023, according to the 2019 Smart Home Device Market Report. It’s no secret that smart home technology is advancing at breathtaking speeds, with all sorts of devices now available from internet-connected bulbs to cameras that allow you to spy on your pet from thousands of miles away, says Jocelyn Brown.
However, as homes become smarter, keeping them secure will become harder, as every smart home device becomes a potential target for hackers. If hackers gain access to your smart home devices, they can do risky things like access personal information, disable your security system remotely, and spy on your home, among other disturbing things. Luckily, there are various ways you can boost security for smart home devices to keep hackers at bay.
Secure your network
Your network is the most important component of your smart home system since it connects all devices. However, if it goes down or becomes compromised, everything else fails. As such, ensuring that your network is safe from hackers is the right way to begin your quest for security. You can start by setting up a separate network for your IoT devices.
You don’t want your IoT devices operating on the same network as your phone or laptop, which only exposes them to more risk. Luckily, most Wi-Fi routers allow users to create multiple networks with different names and passwords. Another thing that can help is enabling WPA2 wireless encryption. Without encryption, hackers tapping into your internet can easily read the data streaming in and out of smart home devices.
Purchase devices from trusted brands and consider professional installation
Competition is heating up in the smart home devices industry and there are many players already making a wide range of products. While cybersecurity might be a top priority for customers, it’s not always the same for all manufacturers.
Before buying any smart home device, research to know how secure it is and what other customers who have used it think about it. You should also consider hiring a professional to install your smart home devices, especially the more sensitive ones like a smart garage door opener. This way, they can ensure that your device is properly set up and there are no security gaps in your system.
Don’t underestimate the power of strong passwords
Incredibly, the old fashioned password system is still the main line of defense that protects your smart home devices. As such, you should take all your passwords seriously. Every time you add a new smart home device, change the default password promptly. Use unique, impossible to guess passwords with at least 12 characters comprising of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
As smart home technology advances, so will the tools and tricks cyber criminals use to hack into smart home systems. Before you consider unplugging any of your devices, think of the things you can do to add an extra layer of security to keep the hackers out.
The author is freelance technology writer, Jocelyn Brown