As technology finds its way into more and more household items, from refrigerators to light bulbs, the potential for these connected devices to be hacked or compromised greatly increases. While you likely take great efforts to secure your computer, many homeowners don’t realize that connected devices are just as tempting to a malicious hacker.
You don’t have to sacrifice the functionality these smart devices provide in order to secure your network and personal information. Here are some steps you can take now to greatly reduce the risk these connected devices can represent.
Use a separate network: Security standards are not as strong for connected appliances as they are for other tech in your home such as your computer. They also don’t get as frequent or regular software updates, making them low hanging fruit for hackers and virus authors. Keep your personal information and computers safe by keeping all connected devices on a separate network. Many routers have a built-in guest network option that is perfect for this use. In this way, your smart devices will still be connected to the internet, but not to your computers, offering an added bit of security.
Update regularly: While updates are much less frequent for smart home devices, they do receive updates from time to time that should be installed immediately. When updates are released, it’s often for very good reason. Likewise, make sure that any connected computers, phones, or routers are kept up to date.
Limit connectivity where possible: Does that smart light bulb need to be connected to the internet, or just each other? Depending on the needs of the device and how you intend to use it, some devices may not need access to the internet after all. Where possible, turn off internet access to reduce potential access points into your network.
Secure your router: Your router is your gateway to the internet, but it’s also the internet’s gateway to your devices. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to keep this device up to date and as secure as possible. In addition to ensuring that you keep your router firmware up to date, it’s also extremely important to change your user name and password from the system defaults.
Use multi-factor authentication when supported: Does your bank website require additional authentication steps when logging in with your password? Perhaps they send you a text with a one-time use code? Using these security options whenever possible means that, even if a hacker gets your password, they still cannot get into your bank account.
While security is always a concern, by following some important network safety recommendations, you can still adopt the latest smart home trends without having to worry. We hope these tips help you enjoy your connected home!
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