Smart homes have become an integral part of modern life, where asking your fridge to add milk to your digital shopping list is just another day. They bring unmatched convenience, letting you control lights, thermostats, and even have a virtual assistant like Alexa at your service. But as we embrace this convenience, it's crucial to think about potential risks and take steps to prevent your smart home from turning against you.
Recent headlines have exposed vulnerabilities in smart home technology, such as the story titled "Locked Out & Hacked: When Smart Homes Turn on Owners" in the New York Post. These stories highlight smart home nightmares, like a homeowner who found themselves locked in their own house because of preprogrammed settings. Another unsettling tale involves someone's ex-partner maliciously manipulating their smart technology to create chaos.
As our homes get smarter, how can you avoid these kinds of experiences? Let's explore some essential strategies to safeguard your home and privacy.
Smart Home Safety Tips You Need to Use
1. Secure Your Network
Your smart home's foundation is its network. Just as you wouldn't leave your front door wide open, don't neglect Wi-Fi security.
- Change your router's default password to something strong and unique.
- Use WPA3 encryption (look for Wi-Fi 6).
- Create a separate guest network to isolate your smart devices.
- Regularly update your router's firmware for the latest security patches.
2. Strengthen Device Passwords
When setting up your smart devices, choose strong, unique passwords. Avoid easily guessable information and consider using a password manager for added security.
3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Many smart device manufacturers offer 2FA for an extra layer of security. Even if someone guesses your password, they won't get past this secondary authentication step.
4. Regularly Update Firmware
Firmware updates are crucial for fixing security vulnerabilities in your smart devices. Check for updates regularly and apply them promptly.
5. Vet Your Devices
Not all smart devices are created equal. Research manufacturers' reputations and opt for products with a history of prompt updates and robust security features.
6. Isolate Sensitive Devices
Segregate critical devices like smart locks and security cameras onto a separate network to keep them secure from potential hackers.
7. Review App Permissions
Scrutinize the permissions smart home apps request on your devices and restrict them to the minimum necessary for functionality.
8. Be Cautious with Voice Assistants
Voice-activated assistants are convenient but can pose privacy risks. Review their privacy settings and consider muting the microphone when not in use.
9. Check Your Devices Regularly
Monitor the status and activity of your smart devices for any unusual behavior, such as unexpected activations or unknown devices on your network. Investigate and take action if you spot anything suspicious.
10. Understand Your Device's Data Usage
11. Stay Informed
Stay updated on the latest developments in smart home security through security newsletters, reputable tech blogs, and news articles.
In conclusion, while smart homes offer incredible convenience, they also come with risks that should not be ignored. If you need assistance in setting up your home technology & ensuring that it's secure, don't hesitate to give us a call today.