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Keep your smart home secure and private

Oct 19, 2023   |   4 mins
Keep your smart home secure and private

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Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular as the world becomes increasingly connected. Smart home devices like thermostats, cameras, and speakers allow you to control your home from your phone, tablet, or voice-activated assistant.

While this is convenient, it creates new security risks that must be addressed. While we're reaping the benefits of smart home devices, understand the risks and take advantage of the security features available, or take security measures to ensure no one breaks into your home.

What are the security risks of a smart home?

Simply put, this is an internet house. Cameras can be hacked to spy on us, lasers can manipulate microphones on smart speakers, and smart plugs can compromise the security system of an entire network of smart kitchen appliances.

While smart homes offer convenience and comfort, they also come with privacy risks. Smart home devices collect vast personal data, including your daily routines, habits, and preferences. This data can be used to create a detailed profile of you and your family, which could potentially be used for nefarious purposes.

Data collection

Smart home devices collect essential personal data, including location, usage patterns, and conversations. This data is often sent to the manufacturer or third-party service providers, who may use it for marketing or other purposes. If this data is intercepted or hacked, it could be used to identify you, your family, or your habits.

Network surveillance

Smart home cameras and doorbells offer a convenient way to monitor your home, but they also come with privacy risks. If these cameras are hacked, criminals could potentially access live feeds of your home, compromising your privacy and security.

Unauthorized access

Smart home devices can be vulnerable to hacking, especially if not adequately secured. If hackers gain access to your smart home devices, they could potentially control them, monitor your activities, or steal your data.

Data breaches

Smart home devices are also vulnerable to data breaches like any other internet-connected device. If a data breach occurs, your data, including your name, address, and credit card information, could be exposed.

Voice assistant misuse

Voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, are integral to many smart homes. However, they can also be a privacy risk. Voice assistants could record and store sensitive information, such as financial or health data if misused.

How to secure smart home?

While smart homes offer many benefits, they also have privacy risks. Therefore, securing your smart home and protecting your personal information is essential. Following the tips mentioned after can help reduce the privacy risks associated with smart homes. Additionally, it's necessary to stay current on the latest security threats and best practices to keep your smart home secure.

Secure your Wi-Fi network

The first step to securing your smart home is to ensure your Wi-Fi network. It means making sure that your network is password-protected and encrypted. Avoid using weak passwords like "1234", "birthday date," or "password," and instead, use a solid and unique password with at least eight characters for your router.

Keep your software up to date

Just like with any other device, keeping your smart home devices' software up to date is essential. Manufacturers often release security patches and bug fixes, and staying up to date helps keep your devices secure. In addition, most smart home devices can be set to update automatically, so make sure this feature is enabled.

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring a code or fingerprint and a password. Enable two-factor authentication for your smart home devices whenever possible. It can help prevent unauthorized access to your devices.

Use strong passwords

Use strong passwords for all of your smart home devices and accounts. Avoid using easily guessable passwords like "1234", "birthday date," or "password." Instead, combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You can also use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords.

Limit device access

Limit the number of people who have access to your smart home devices. If possible, create separate user accounts for each household member, and avoid sharing your login credentials with others. It can help prevent unauthorized access to your devices.

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

A VPN can help protect your privacy by encrypting your internet traffic. It helps prevent hackers from intercepting your data or accessing your smart home devices. Consider using a VPN if you frequently access your smart home devices from public Wi-Fi networks.

Disable unnecessary features

Disable any unnecessary features on your smart home devices, such as remote access, if you don't use them. It prevents unauthorized access to your devices.

Monitor your network

Monitoring your network traffic and activity can help you identify any unusual activity or unauthorized access attempts. Consider using a network monitoring tool to help you keep track of your devices and network.

Securing your smart home is essential to protect your privacy and security. By following these tips, you can help keep your smart home secure and enjoy the convenience of smart home technology.