Some latest predictions state that by the year 2024, the Internet of Things (IoT) will consist of a network of 22 billion connected devices. It is no brainer to evaluate that much of the stated growth will be generated from Smart Home consumer devices. Our homes are getting smart and they complement even more when the residents are smarter.
With the progression of healthy technology comes the unhealthy one too. DDoS attacks and other cyber crimes put people’s privacy and safety at risk and therefore when inculcating smart devices in your home, you need to make sure to secure your home by all means, as well.
Cybersecurity, sometimes not taken very seriously, should be the first thing on your mind when getting any new network device. For that matter, you must ensure that your internet is secure as well and so you might be interested to explore Spectrum offers where you can get free Spectrum Security Suite with your internet plan.
We don’t want you to be attacked by a cyber-thief ever and therefore, we have assembled a Smart Home Cybersecurity Checklist for you.
DO YOU NEED A SMART HOME?
The foremost question you need to ask yourself is if you need a Smart Home for real. You do not have to connect everything with the network and yourself if you have no desire for it and it sure is the best way to protect your home from any outer interference. For example, do you need your toaster to send a text message? Or your refrigerator to display television shows?
FIRST RESEARCH, THEN BUY
As a consumer of technology, you need to secure yourself by keeping yourself informed. Before you purchase any device, make sure to study it thoroughly – read customer reviews, expert opinions, and also manufacturer handbooks. Through this exercise, you would find the possible security threats you might face and the responsibilities of the developer.
Moreover, sticking with the established brands having a concrete track record is always a better option.Prioritize the devices that are handy to use, update software, disable unwanted features, and that allow changing default passcodes.
GET THEM INSTALLED BY A PROFESSIONAL
There is a reason that every field has a specialization course. Experts and professionals are always better than rookie users. If things get a bit complicated, getting professional help should be your go-to option. The experts will make sure that your Smart Home devices are fitted with utmost security.
Sign Up With The Manufacturing Company
Signing up or registering with the manufacturing company will help you get the important software updates. While setting up, be mindful to only grant permissions where needed and we can’t stress enough on this but do not allow unnecessary access to anyone including manufacturers.
DEFINE A GUEST NETWORK
You might want to define a separate network to give to the guests so that they do not get involved with your Smart Home devices. Another perspective is to ensure the safety of your home network by allowing guests another network than yours.
PROTECT YOUR DEVICES
You should change the company provided username and passcode of your Smart Home devices. Many people choose a password significant to themselves to keep themselves from forgetting it but that is a safe key for intruders trying to get into your network. Your password should not be linked with any of your personal information. The generic it is, the harder it will be for people to guess.
Additionally, you should turn off any other manufacturer setting that does not benefit you, for example, remote access, that can easily be used by cyber-thieves to enter your system.
WORK WITH THE TWO-STEP
We are talking about authentication here and not Tango. If your Smart Home devices’ applications propose a two-factor authentication, you need to benefit from it. Two-factor authentication or 2FA works as a shield in addition to your password, like a one-time code before accessing your accounts has secured them.
For all technologies, updates are important. You must ensure that all your devices always work with updated software.
UPGRADE WHEN NEEDED
An updated version of a device offers more or improvised features and some lucky times both, these features also include security reforms taken by the manufacturer. If your device has been long with you, you might want to see if it is time to switch to a better version.
ALWAYS KNOW ABOUT YOUR CONNECTED DEVICES
Whatever devices you are connecting with your network should be visible to you and if you have any doubts, you should merely turn off the Wi-Fi and check which of the devices stop working.
BEWARE OF OUTAGES
Beware of a power or hardware outage and make sure it does not cause your device to be in an unsafe state. If such an uncalled for situation occurs, make sure to check on your device immediately afterward.
MINIMIZE USE OF FREE PUBLIC WI-FI NETWORKS
It always feels good to be introduced to a free wi-fi network while sipping your coffee by the road, but if you are going to control your Smart Home devices through it, you might want to consider your options!
It is better to not use public Wi-Fi altogether for this purpose, but if it is imperative, you should use a secure VPN.
FACTORY RESET ALL DEVICES
For instance, if you decide on upgrading the device or get done with it, and want to sell it or give it away, make sure to take all the precautions to erase your data from it. The first step after transferring the data should be activating the factory reset. Nobody wants someone else to be able to extract their personal information and so be mindful of this step.
As famously said, thorns come along with roses – the more digitally connected you are, the more chances for a cybercrime. It does not, in any way, mean that you should absolve yourself from the new technology, but it just stresses the right way to use it. You must make sure your home is secure in all senses to enjoy maximum convenience. StaySmart, Stay Safe!