15 Tips to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

We live in a “smart” age where everything from our homes to our cell phones has the latest intelligent technology. The convenience offered by smart gadgets and homes is enough to lure anyone into having them installed.

After all, wouldn’t you want to be able to control the light in the next room or even the room upstairs from your own cell phone?

However, with this convenience comes the disadvantage that any gadget or appliance can be hacked. This means that long gone are the days when intruders would have to break your door’s lock to get inside.

Now, all they have to do is hack your smart home system and open the lock on your front door; hassle-free and noise-free.

If you think you’ll be able to track it down through CCTV cameras then let me remind you that those cameras can be hacked too. Dangerous, isn’t it?

With the increasing number of smart homes, it’s important to introduce measures that can prevent security breaches.

That’s why we’re here to give you 15 simple tips on how to protect your smart home from being hacked!

1. Change Default Username and Password

Change the username and password given to you by the service provider immediately. The username and password that the service provider gives you can usually be found online and then your system can get hacked by an intruder.

Therefore, you should change your username and password immediately after you get a default one from the service provider.

Also, make sure you don’t enter the new password or username in front of anyone, including the service provider. That is only for you and your family to know.

2. Use Complicated Password           

There’s a reason some online forums require you to have complicated passwords containing uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols.

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These complicated passwords are harder to hack and therefore, will save you a lot of trouble in the future. Initially, you might have some trouble memorizing the password but better safe than sorry, right?

3. Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi

NEVER and I mean NEVER use public Wi-Fi to access your home system. If you’re at a café and need to access your home system because you think you forgot to lock the door or even if you just want to check up on your house.

Never use the café’s Wi-Fi because all those around you who are connected to the same Wi-Fi can easily hack into your phone and then hack your smart home through your phone.

4. Keep Password Secure

Make sure that your own Wi-Fi is password-secured. This is because if it’s an open Wi-Fi, anyone close to your house will be able to connect to your Wi-Fi, making it very easy to hack into your home system.

Always make sure that your Wi-Fi is password-protected, with a complicated password that cannot be easily hacked.

5. Choose Well Reputed Company

Always in the software and hardware of a widely known and trusted brand. Before you install your smart home system, be sure to check reviews of the company or brand that’s installing it or owns it.

Ask around in your social circle if they’ve had any personal experiences with smart home systems and ask them for recommendations too. Before you install anything, do your research. Cheap and untrustworthy systems have weak encryptions and are easier to hack.

6. Use Two Way Authentication

So, since your smart home can only be accessed using facial detection, it must be safe, right? The answer is a big no. The facial detection device can easily be manipulated using an artificial mask.

Therefore, it’s best to have more than a single step authentication. This means every time someone wants to access the home system, they should enter a password, facial detection and fingerprint detection.

A combination of these is very hard to gather and will prevent an intruder from breaching the security of your smart home.

7. Keep Software Updated

Update the software on your devices to the latest ones available. I know how annoying it is to get software update requests in the middle of important conversations or important tasks but please don’t just dismiss them because the new updates contain better protection against hackers and intruders.

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8. Install Anti-Virus 

Download a reliable anti-virus application. Don’t just go for the free trial versions. Do your research and find out which antivirus applications are the best and then purchase its premium version.

They’re honestly not that expensive and they save you from a lot of intruding viruses that can hack your system. It’s better to invest in this kind of application that will ensure your security rather than to face some kind of a loss later on due to a security breach.

9. Don’t Plugin Unknown Devices in your PC

Stay away from unknown devices. Never plug in unknown devices onto your computer or laptop. This includes all kinds of external storage devices too.

Hackers may leave their storage device around your house or in your path, but beware and don’t plug them in because they can use these devices to hack into your computer.

10. Avoid Spammy Websites

Whenever you’re downloading data from websites or torrents, make sure that the data is 100% safe and free of viruses or any other such programs that can hack your computer.

Ideally, you should only download data from trusted websites and torrents. If you feel that a website looks suspicious, don’t use it the next time. Furthermore, you can block pop-ups on your computer to prevent websites from automatically downloading data.

11. Keep Your Phone Safe

Make sure your devices are safely locked. In case your phone gets stolen, you need to have some way of blocking and removing all data from it, including information related to your smart home system.

Most modern phones come with a guide that teaches them how they can block their lost phones or even how they can recover them. Read through these instructions on your phone so that if any such scenario does occur, you’ll be well-equipped to deal with it as soon as you can.

12. Keep Smart Home  System Secure

Some smart home systems have locks on the outside of the home. Be careful when you invest in such a system because those locks can be physically manipulated to unlock your door.

Ideally, you should make sure that all hardware devices that are part of your smart home system should be placed inside your house and not on the outside. In such a scenario where they have to be placed outside for any reason, make sure you invest in a brand that has cannot be meddled with.

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13. Use Annonymous Name For Wi-Fi Network

Don’t name your Wi-Fi network after your name or any other family member’s name. It’s pretty easy for hackers to come disguised as employees from any agency that requires you to fill out a survey.

You, being a responsible citizen, might even be interested in filling out the survey form. However, through this method, they can easily get to know your name and if you have any Wi-Fi device named after yourself, it can become easy for a hacker to identify and hack into your wireless connection.

14. Make Your Wi-Fi Network Un Discoverable

Hide your Wi-Fi network. Your service provider will give you the option of whether or not you want your Wi-Fi device to be discoverable.

If you can’t figure out how to do it on your own, then you can ask your service provider how to hide your Wi-Fi. This way, your Wi-Fi network will only be visible to people who are specifically searching for it and know its exact name.

15. Use  Separate Router For Smart Home System

Connect your devices through different networks. The device that contains the main information and software of your smart home system should be connected to a different wireless network.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to purchase a new network for this. You can split your existing network such that all the devices will be able to communicate with each other. However, your main device won’t be accessible by external hackers.

Conclusion:

So, what are you waiting for? Follow the steps above so that you can sleep peacefully and night and ensure that your smart home provides you maximum convenience and security all at the same time. The number of smart homes is rapidly increasing, which brings an increasing need for awareness related to its safety.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to get your software and hardware from a trusted source because if the source is trusted and well-known, they’ll automatically have better-inbuilt protection against hackers. Spread the word to your loved ones to ensure their safety too.

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