Smart homes offer unparalleled convenience and efficiency. But as we embrace the convenience, it’s essential to consider the potential risks.
Recent headlines have shed light on the vulnerabilities of smart home technology, such as the story in the New York Post’s article titled “Locked Out & Hacked: When Smart Homes Turn on Owners.”
The article describes smart home nightmares. Including the new owner of a smart home that unexpectedly got locked in. The prior owner had left preprogrammed settings. Suddenly at 11:30 p.m., the home told him it was time to go to bed and locked every door in the house.
Another technology victim was a woman terrorized by lights and sounds at home. Her ex-partner was maliciously manipulating the smart technology.
As homes get smarter, how can you avoid a similar experience? We’ll explore some key strategies to protect your home and your privacy.
Secure your network
The foundation of any smart home is its network. Just as you wouldn’t leave your front door wide open, you shouldn’t neglect Wi-Fi security.
Strengthen device passwords
Avoid using easily guessable information like “123456” or “password.” Use a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
Many smart home device manufacturers offer 2FA as an extra layer of security. This helps keep unwanted people out.
Regularly update firmware
Firmware updates are essential for fixing security vulnerabilities in your smart devices. Make it a habit to check and apply firmware updates regularly.
Vet your devices
Look for products that have a history of prompt updates and robust security features. Avoid purchasing devices from obscure or untrusted brands.
Isolate sensitive devices
Consider segregating your most sensitive devices onto a separate network, if possible.
Review app permissions
Smart home apps often request access to various permissions on your devices. Before granting these, scrutinize what data the app is trying to access.
Be cautious with voice assistants
Review your voice assistant’s privacy settings. Be cautious about what information you share with them. Many devices can be programmed to not listen by default.
Check your devices regularly
Regularly check the status and activity of your smart devices. Look for any unusual behavior.
Understand your device’s data usage
Finally, stay informed about the latest developments in smart home security. Subscribe to security newsletters.