Fun new smart-home products release every month these days and more and more manufacturers are getting in on the trend. As such, the prices of internet-connected devices are becoming more affordable, and we’re all quite spoiled for choice.
While this is a good thing, keep in mind that having a house full of smart tech also poses some downsides. In particular, these new products can open you up to increased risk of being hacked by a cybercriminal. To stay safe, then, it’s necessary to be proactive to keep hackers at bay. Here are some things you can do today.
Select Products from More Security-Conscious Brands
Keep in mind that there are multiple reasons to consider brand-name products. While the main one most people consider is that these gadgets should be more reliable since the brand is well-known and trusted, another plus is that better security is also more likely.
Manufacturers who have been around for a while and built up a good name focus on retaining their reputation. As such, they do what they can to produce quality goods that are also secure. These companies are able to spend time and money testing tech to ensure it’s hard for hackers to break into. They also typically release more regular product updates to increase security as time goes on.
Update Default Settings
Once you’ve purchase smart-home products, it’s time to set them up in your house. At this stage, be sure to not skip the step of updating the default settings on your gear. Manufacturers generally use the same user names and passwords on all their devices and then make this information publicly known. They encourage customers to update settings ASAP but this suggestion isn’t always followed.
You’ll be keen to start using your new smart-home products straight away but for security’s sake, take a few minutes to change the username and password first. Hackers have access to the publicly listed details as much as anyone else, and can thereby use the information to try to break into your gadgets if you don’t make the required updates.
Utilize Security Software
Another prime way to keep cybercriminals at bay is to utilize security software. If you’re like most people, you use your smartphone, tablet, and laptop to control the smart-home gear you buy. This means that if hackers get into these devices, they could from there find their way into your smart-home gear, too. This opens you up to multiple attacks, both digitally and on-site.
To avoid this situation, protect all your computers. Install quality maximum security antivirus software that will prevent hackers from breaking into your systems. Choose products that protect against a variety of threats (including spam, ransomware, spyware, and malware) and that provide real-time alerts if there’s a breach of security.
Make Sure Your Wi-Fi Network is Secure
It’s also essential to secure your Wi-Fi network. You shouldn’t leave your router unlocked at any time, but this is even more imperative once you bring smart-home gear into the mix. If anyone in the vicinity can use your internet connection without your knowledge or login, they can use this access to find devices connected to the modem and cause havoc as a result.
Stay safe by setting up a hard-to-crack username and password on your internet router. The password needs to be at least eight characters in length and made up of a variety of symbols, upper- and lower-case letters, and numbers. Also, change this password every few months to further increase security.
Regularly Update Software and Firmware
Lastly, keep in mind that the updates developers release for their products are there for a reason. Many people take release updates as an annoying occurrence, but in fact it’s vital to run the latest versions of programs if you want to keep hackers away.
Product manufacturers continually taking note of any security gaps that may open up in their gear (including both software and firmware) that could be used by hackers to break in. As such, they find ways to plug these security holes and release updates containing the newer, more secure version.
Keep your home and information safe by setting up your smart-home gear and other products to update automatically whenever new releases come out. That way, you know you’re always as protected as possible.
Today there are numerous threats to smart-homes from hackers around the world. Thankfully, though, it doesn’t take too much to protect your devices and reduce the risk of your home being compromised.