The convenience and benefits offered by smart home devices are unrivaled. You can save on water and energy using smart devices like smart faucets and light bulbs.
Not to forget the cost gains due to increased efficiency. But, your smart heaven can turn into hell if hackers gain access. Recent research found that smart homes face over 12,000 cyber attacks weekly.
It can lead to identity theft, spying, data manipulation, and even fire. Therefore, any smart home should maintain the best security and safety practices.
Let’s delve into some of the security and safety tips you can adopt to protect your home from harm.
1. Disable Features You’re Not Using
Remote control on smart home devices makes it very convenient. But, the remote monitoring capability also makes it a prime target for easy entry points for hackers.
Disabling access points you are not using is a good way of reducing the hackers’ entry points into your smart home. Unused Bluetooth, mics, and other remote access should be disabled. For example, smart speakers have both Bluetooth and Wifi; disable whatever you are not using.
Smart TV also has voice control but may rarely be used. This unused remote access on your smart speaker or TV can make it easy to spy on your private home conversations.
2. Use Bath Tray for Your Smart Bathtub
A smart tub also has Wifi and Bluetooth remote connection options. Disabling any unused connection will keep it safe from hackers.
You can use a bath tray as a safety tip to keep your smartphone close and other indulgences while enjoying your exclusive soaking. An extendable bath tray on a well-contoured freestanding bathtub gives you maximum stretch, relaxing angles, and control of your soaking experience.
Keeping your smartphone close to the bath tray makes it easier to control your bathtub and get all security notifications on your home smart network.
3. Set a Separate Guest Network
Placing your smart home network separate from the guest network can help you reduce cyber risks. It will contain any inherent risks in the guest network from spilling over into the smart home network.
Current routers have a secondary network that you can use to contain risks. All your IoT devices, cameras, doorbells, thermostat, etc. should be on the secondary network.
Also, improve your router’s security by changing the default settings and passwords, especially on newly added devices. Keeping default settings makes it walk in the park for hackers to crack your network.
4. Update Your Software
Outdated software are prone to cyber risks, especially if they have inherent exploitable flaws. It exposes your network if you have smart home devices that are outdated.
Patching up the inherent flaws can only be done by updating the software. Here’s a list of software you need to update:
- Router’s firmware
- IoT device’s software
- IoT control application
Do not overlook the software update notifications that pop up on your screen. Update as quickly as possible; it might save your smart home network from being overrun.
5. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
This involves using several authentication methods to ensure its user and not the hacker is accessing the network. It is widely applicable in online banking to offer a double layer of security for online transactions.
For every login attempt, you have to provide other identification proofs besides normal passwords.
Use Google Authentication for devices that do not support a multi-factor authentication system. It will provide additional security to safeguard your smart home network devices.
6. Prioritize Local Storage Over Cloud
Most of the smart home devices like cameras and doorbells are hosted on the cloud. This elevates the risk of outside attacks or penetration.
There is alternative local storage that offers more security and privacy. For example, Eufy cameras have robust local storage that can improve functionality without compromising your security.
7. Enhance Your Router’s Security
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There are additional ways of ramping up your router’s security apart from changing its default names and passwords. You can add a next-generation firewall (NGFW) to get more security functionalities, like:
- Content filtering
- Virtual private network (VPN)
- Intrusion prevention system
- SSL/SSH interception etc
Combining your router’s traditional firewall and the NGFW can improve your network’s detection and prevention ability against attacks.
Here are other ways of improving your router’s security:
Encrypt the admin pages of your router to prevent and reduce exposure of your login credentials
- Constantly update your router’s firmware to patch security flaws
- Apply the WPA2, the latest and better wifi encryption. If your router supports the old WPA and WEP, then you need to update it immediately
8. Avoid Using Similar Passwords for Different Devices
Your smart home and IoT devices should not use similar passwords. Most manufacturers use identical passwords across all their devices. It is because it saves operational costs like programming, printing, and labeling of passwords for each device.
So, connecting these devices using their default passwords makes it easier to hack your smart home devices at scale.
Changing the IoT devices’ default passwords is vital for keeping your smart home network from wide-scale cyber-attacks.
9. Conduct Periodic Audits
You should conduct a periodic security audit on smart home devices and their associated smart control applications.
Performing periodic security audits on your smart home network has the following benefits:
- Provide protection to critical data
- Find physical security loopholes exploitable by hackers
- Formulate new effective security policies
- Make emergency preparations if a breach occurs
We recommend engaging a security professional to conduct your smart home network audit.
The increasing cyber-attacks can affect your smart homes exposing you to identity fraud, financial fraud, etc.
Protecting and improving your smart home security is critical for your safety. Some of the tips to consider for better smart home security include:
- Increasing your router’s security through periodic firmware updates
- Disabling remote management features that you are not using
- Using multi-factor authentication
- Changing factory passwords
- Running periodic network security audits
You should apply these tips after separating your smart home network from the rest of your network, e.g guest network. Keeping your smart home safe should be a priority and these tips can help you do that.