Protect Your Smart Devices From Being Hacked

While smart devices make our daily lives more convenient, they also present security risks, notably where hackers are involved.

FREMONT, CA:  Many smart tools we use at home can be hacked through the Internet or the apps that control them. One cybersecurity expert said, “If it’s digital, it’s hackable.”

It seems like almost every home device can be made “smart.” But that means they’re also hackable.

The Risks of IoT Device Hacking

Once a hacker enters your home network, they can uncover personal information, such as your bank account number or other passwords. In addition, depending on the device compromised, they could also gain access to your home (smart locks or garages, for example) or the ability to spy on your family (cameras).

See how one ethical hacker could obtain personal information and accounts from connected smart home devices, including passwords, home calendars, and more.

The risks extend beyond your immediate family, as unsecured IoT devices could also be utilized in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against others. Here, hackers take control of many devices across the Internet to crash targeted business websites.

There are specific measures homeowners can take to prevent a hacking try.

Create Better Passwords

You may be amazed because of password protection. Below are some of the top tips about passwords and their significance.

• Modify the passwords to your devices, systems, and networks every six months.

• Use a password with various characters, so it’s not easy to guess. It doesn’t require complicated jargon to be a good password. You can create a meaningful one that is unique to you.

• Do not apply the same password for multiple devices. Remembering many passwords may seem like a task, but it is a crucial step in securing your smart home.

• Use multi-factor authentication. Though it needs another step in logging into accounts, two layers of credentials support deter hackers.

• Install updates to all devices as they turn available. It’s a usual practice to ignore updates, but sometimes they involve serious security patches. Ensure your device is recorded with the manufacturer to ensure that you are informed of updates as they become available.

• Change the default password on every device. It seems evident, but one research company found that 15% of devices still use the default password, which can be found with a simple Google search. Without creating a special password, you are making it very simple for hackers to abuse your smart devices.

• Factory reset devices before you order them. This clears your data and passwords from the device, preventing the next owner from gaining access.

Be Wary of WiFi

Maybe you’ve already overheard about avoiding public WiFi, but did you know there are ways to bolster your home network too?

• Again, don’t use public WiFi. Although it is convenient, hackers can easily infiltrate devices using the connection in coffee shops and restaurants. Consider using your secure wireless hotspot instead.

• Even within your private network, use segregated Internet connections. Using a virtual local area network (VLAN), you can split a present connection between devices. This precaution is handy because if one device turnS compromised, the others will not be. For instance, you probably don’t want your smart speaker running on the same connection as your laptop.

• Create a guest network. If someone outside your immediate family needs to use your WiFi, give them access to a guest network. For this, if one of their devices is compromised, hackers can’t access the valuable information on your network.

• Be aware of your home WiFi speeds. If it abruptly seems slower than normal, it could indicate a hacker.

Find a Trusted Security Provider

You can have the top of both worlds: a smart and safe home. Security systems can integrate with home automation efficiently but find a contributor recognizing the risks in home automation. Professional installation is an option to guarantee your devices are set up properly and security concerns mitigated.

If you take preventive measures like those described above, the risks become less prevalent. Rather, you can enjoy the convenience of home automation and take a deep breath knowing that you’re in control.

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