How Secure Is Your Smart Home?
By: John | Date Posted: November 11, 2022
The number of smart homes or homes with smart devices is rapidly increasing, with about 480 million homes expected to be equipped with smart devices by next year. If you have smart devices set up in your home or you are considering installing some, you may be concerned about the security of these devices.
You’ve likely heard about smartphones and other devices being hacked, with precious information stolen from the device owners. If your home security systems or other key systems are hooked into smart devices, can hackers get into those systems and access your home and cause problems for you? Do smart devices offer a way in for people who want to hack computers in your home or get onto your home’s Wi-Fi network? Let’s look at some of the security concerns for smart devices in the home.
The Weak Password
If someone is accessing your home’s local network without your permission, they’re likely getting in because of a weak password. Strong password security is your first line of defense in keeping hackers out. Most people who hack accounts do so by simply guessing passwords. You want to make sure yours is impossible to guess. It may be difficult to remember a long, complex password, but it’s worth it in order to keep hackers out and to be able to enjoy peace of mind about your home’s security.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against hackers who might guess your password is to update and change it regularly. It’s extra work for you, for sure, but it is also a lot of extra security.
The Local Network
Smart devices in the home can be connected to your home’s Wi-Fi, so if hackers get access to one device on your network, they may be able to access others. The fact that these devices operate on a local, closed network is both a strength and a weakness. It’s a strength because it’s very difficult to get into a local network unless you’re inside the house. It’s a weakness because accessing one device on the local network usually gives the person access to every other device on that same network.
To keep your local network secure, be very careful about who you allow into your home and what they are allowed to do there. If you have repair persons in the home, make sure you monitor them while they are there. If you have friends over, don’t let them use your personal devices or let them see you signing in and inputting passwords. This way, you can help them avoid the temptation of accessing your local network and smart devices.
A lot of protective measures you should be taking for your home’s security are just commonsense methods. You will need to be aware of your smart home’s security weaknesses and take proper precautions. Just as you wouldn’t leave your wallet out in the open when visitors are in your home, you should not leave out lists of passwords for your home’s security or smart devices.
You should be careful about who you let into your home as well, carefully vetting home cleaning services, babysitters, and others who might have more access to your home than the average person, suggests Maggy of Brooklyn House Cleaners. Make sure they are reputable and trustworthy before you hire them, and keep sensitive information out of their sight when they are in your home.
Also, consider using the guest network option for your smart devices. What this does is set them on a separate network apart from devices with sensitive information like smartphones, laptops, and computers. Your laptop probably has more security than the smart device, so it’s not a bad idea to keep them on separate networks. That way, if someone accesses your smart device, they can’t necessarily access the content on your computer.
Keep Firmware Updated
The majority of smart devices will have at least some security on them and will do a pretty good job of keeping cyber threats at bay. They may be updated every so often with new firmware that protects against newly discovered threats or that does a better job of protecting against known threats. Make sure your smart devices stay updated and accept updates whenever they are available. This will ensure that you have the best possible protection for your smart device and for your home.
Spring for All the Options
You may have a choice of several different levels of security for your smart device. If you are concerned about someone accessing your home through your smart device or getting control of your device, you want to choose the most secure option. While this will typically cost extra, it can be worth it to you, especially if you live in an area that is prone to theft, break-in, and cybercrime.
Before you buy a smart device for your home, talk to the retailer about what security features they offer and how protected your smart device will be. Ask them about what you can do to maximize your home security as it relates to the device you’re purchasing. This kind of advice can help you to avoid making common mistakes and can ensure that your home is as secure as possible.
Smart devices don’t have to compromise your home security or make you feel at risk just because you have them installed in your home. However, you should know about their specific weaknesses and what you can do to guard against the various security risks that come with these devices. If you’ve taken the proper precautions, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
If you already have smart devices in your home, it’s worth it to check them over to make sure that they’re fully updated, have strong passwords on them, and are used in such a way that you’re not exposing yourself to unnecessary security risks. A smart home can definitely be a secure home.
Thank you for reading!