Is Your Family’s Smart Home as Secure as It Is Convenient?
Living in a digital age has its advantages for sure, and one of these is the ability to make your home smart and connected. Like everything else, however, you must consider safety when building a smart home system. To make sure you don’t get exposed to hackers, fraudsters, and other criminals in cyberspace, read on.
Technology in the Home
Technology within the home is not an entirely new concept, just an evolved one. This is because as early as the 1950s, there were apartment buildings that used intercoms to grant access to the building. Current smart homes generally use devices like heating systems, cameras, and even kitchen equipment that can get connected to the internet. Rather than controlling these items with a remote control, they are linked by internet protocol and connected through a hub that’s on your internet router and can even connect to your smartphone.
The risk arises from the fact that these devices can gather and store information like your habits and usage, and that information is stored on the network or within the device. If it falls in the wrong hands, it may expose your privacy or enable external forces to have control of things inside your house. The following are four considerations to make to ensure that this does not happen and that your smart home remains secure and convenient at all times.
Manage Your Passwords
Most devices are manufactured with basic and easy to guess passwords like “1234” or “admin” that won’t take a person with malicious intent more than a minute to crack. Whenever you change your network, therefore, always start by modifying the password. The fact that researchers believe that in the first half of 2019 alone data breaches exposed more than four billion records should motivate you to remember to set up a strong password.
It’s important to make sure that hackers cannot get into your home and take control of the cameras and voice recording devices, which can be used to compromise the home’s security or give bad actors information to blackmail you with. This can be done by not only setting up strong passwords, but also by adding the safety of two-factor authentification. This makes sure that even if someone guesses your password, they won’t be able to get into your system.
Balance Security and Privacy
While getting connected, consider how much you’re willing to risk in terms of your privacy. Before you add a new smart item, think about the benefits it will have and weigh these against the potential risks associated with it. For instance, voice assistants never sleep and may save your data and recordings which could be stolen and put on the internet or even sold to third parties with bad intentions. It was projected that at least a third of all data would pass through the cloud by 2020, and this is a lot of data when you think about all the connections made throughout the world. Make sure that yours does not end up in the wrong hands by limiting what you send via your devices.
Replace Old Firmware
Finally, the firmware, which is the low-level software powering your gadgets, including the routers you use, needs to always be up-to-date. This is because updates contain helpful security patches and more, helping make your connections more secure. Check to see if your gadgets are set to update themselves automatically, and if not, always be sure to update them whenever prompted to do so. This will help you to stay more secure in your smart home.
Your safety at home is important, which is why you should take the time to think about how much risk you’re comfortable living with. Also, always research the safety measures you should take with each new safe device you add, and you will enjoy the convenience for a long time to come.