Smart home devices have become increasingly popular and offer a high level of convenience. You can control your lights, security system, and thermostat from your smartphone or tablet. As a result, smart homes have become a target for cyber attackers. In this article, we will cover the top 5 ways to secure your smart home from cyber attacks and keep you and your home safe.
Why Your Smart Home Devices Needs Cybersecurity
As we rely on technology to make our lives easier, we must also recognize the potential risks involved. Without proper security measures, cyber attackers can take control of your smart home devices and use them to steal your personal information, invade your privacy, and even cause physical harm.
Understand Your Smart Home Devices and Their Vulnerabilities
The first step in securing your smart home is to identify devices that connect to the internet and their vulnerabilities. This will allow you to ensure that they are secure and not a potential entry point for cyber attackers.
To help you understand your smart home devices, create a table like the one below:
|Smart Home Device||Connects to the Internet||Security Features|
|Smart Thermostat||Yes||Password Protection|
|Smart Lock||Yes||Two-factor Authentication|
|Smart TV||Yes||Antivirus software|
|Smart Speaker||Yes||Virtual Segregation|
By creating a table, you can identify the security features available for each device and ensure that they are enabled.
Protect Your Wi-Fi Network
The Wi-Fi network is the gateway to your smart home. If cyber attackers gain access to your Wi-Fi network, they can control your smart home devices. Therefore, securing your Wi-Fi network is crucial.
Here are some steps to protect your Wi-Fi network:
- Password protect your Wi-Fi network: Create a strong and unique password that includes upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using personal information such as your name or address.
- Change the default username and password for your router: Most routers come with a default username and password, which is easy to guess. Changing the default login credentials is an important step in securing your Wi-Fi network.
- Use WPA2 encryption: WPA2 encryption is the latest and most secure Wi-Fi encryption protocol. It encrypts your Wi-Fi network traffic, making it difficult for cyber attackers to intercept your data.
Use Only Reputable Smart Home Technology Brands
When choosing smart home devices, it’s essential to select trustworthy brands. These brands typically provide regular security updates and have a reputation for developing secure devices.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a smart home brand:
- Choose a brand that is well-known and established. Avoid brands that have no reputation or little history in the market.
- Look for brands that have a good track record of providing regular security updates. These updates address vulnerabilities and ensure that your devices remain secure.
- Check online reviews and user forums. Reviews provide insight into a brand’s performance, customer service and reliability.
Virtually Segregate Your Smart Devices
Virtual segregation is an extra step to take after selecting the right branded devices. This step will ensure that your smart devices are on a secondary Wi-Fi network, separated from your other devices.
Here’s how virtual segregation works:
- Many home internet routers allow you to sprout a second (guest) Wi-Fi network, which is safely walled off from your main Wi-Fi network.
- You can use that secondary network as a place to quarantine all of your smart gear so that it lives completely separate from your various computing devices.
By separating your smart devices from your other devices, you reduce your exposure to cyber threats.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security feature that adds another layer of protection to your smart devices. 2FA requires a password and another factor, such as a fingerprint scan or facial recognition, to gain access to your device.
By enabling 2FA, you can ensure that only authorized users can control your smart devices. Here’s how to enable 2FA for your smart devices:
- Check the manual or user guide of your smart device to see if 2FA is available.
- If 2FA is available, follow the instructions to enable it. Typically, the process involves downloading an authentication app and linking it to your smart device.
- Once 2FA is enabled, you will need to verify your identity every time you log in to your device.
By following the tips we’ve discussed, you can secure your smart home and enjoy the convenience of virtual assistants, smart appliances, smart home security, smart lighting, and more.
I wanted to make my home smarter, so I decided to purchase a few smart devices. I had heard about the potential risks of cyber attacks, but I didn't take the necessary steps to secure my devices. One day, I received an email from my smart home security company, informing me that my security camera had been hacked. I was horrified to learn that someone could see inside my house and watch my every move. From that point on, I made sure to follow the steps to secure my smart home and protect myself from cyber attacks.
Is a smart home secure?
Smart homes can be secure if you take the necessary steps to protect them. By following the tips we’ve discussed, you can ensure that your smart home is secure and protected from cyber attacks.
How often should I change my smart home password?
You should change your smart home password at least once every six months. Changing your password regularly will make it difficult for cyber attackers to gain access to your smart devices.
Do smart home devices need antivirus software?
Smart home devices operate differently from traditional computers and do not require antivirus software. However, some smart home brands may provide security software, which can help protect your devices from cyber attacks.
Smart home devices are convenient and offer a high level of comfort, but they are vulnerable to cyber attacks. By understanding your smart home devices, protecting your Wi-Fi network, using reputable smart home brands, virtually segregating your smart devices, and enabling 2FA, you can secure your smart home and protect yourself from cyber attacks.