5 Things to Consider When Securing Your Smart Home
Have you ever heard a news story that makes you feel unsafe in your own home? Reports of criminals hacking into smart home devices can certainly have this effect.
It’s downright maddening that the very devices meant to keep you safe from criminals are the same ones that can leave you more exposed than ever.
But there are a few things you can do to lock down that smart home system and keep it as safe as it was meant to be.
Here are 5 security best practices to consider for your smart home.
1. Don’t use the same passwords
When you set a password for your smart home devices, make each one completely unique. Your security camera shouldn’t have the same password as the Alexa, and each one should be different from any passwords you use elsewhere on the internet.
Also, you’re going to want to keep those passwords to yourself. Don’t share them with anyone unless you have to. Relationships change, and you don’t want to have to worry about changing your passwords when they do.
If you need help keeping track of them, use a trusted password manager.
2. Disable features you aren’t using
You can turn off access to features you don’t plan to use, and this will keep you safer in the event someone hacks into your system. For example, if a system has audio monitoring that you’re not using, you can disable the microphone. And if someone accesses the system, they won’t be able to hear what’s going on in your home.
3. Enable two-step authentication
Most smart home devices will allow you to use two-step authentication, which helps you add another layer of protection to your devices.
This means that you’ll have to do two things to verify your identity in order to login to your device. You may have to enter a password and use your smartphone to confirm your access. This helps you avoid unauthorized access – even if someone gets ahold of your password. If you aren’t using voice control, you can turn this feature off as well.
4. Keep your devices up-to-date
If you’re using a completely outdated system that doesn’t get regular updates and security patches, it may be leaving you more vulnerable than you think. Technology changes at lightning speed, and hackers are in the business of keeping up. So if your smart home technology hasn’t been updated in months or years, it’s time for an upgrade. And if you can upgrade your system with security patches, just be sure to do that regularly.
There’s a reason these patches are available, and they’re free, so you should definitely take advantage.
5. Buy from a trusted source
When you’re looking for a new smart home system, the brand name actually matters.
Well, it’s not actually the brand itself, but larger and better-known brands are in the spotlight. And so, they’re going to be held to high-security standards.
If a smaller brand cuts corners on security, it’s not going to make headlines. So we can only expect they’re more likely to do so. It’s not a given, so you could find a lesser-known brand with high security standards and regular upgrades, but you really have to know what you’re looking for.
If you want peace of mind, in this case, brand names matter.
In most cases, hackers are looking for holes in your smart home security system to exploit. So if you keep your passwords secure and your system updated, you should be safe. This way, you’ll keep your home safe from would-be intruders – both physically and virtually.