Home automation and smart devices
Over the next few years houses will slowly become more and more automated. From smart speakers such as Alexa through to CCTV monitoring and even heating and lighting everything will go through your router or phones wifi. So you need to be thinking about how to secure these devices.
Many people own smart TV's, fridges, ovens, washing machines and microwaves. The next generation of devices are being built to connect to your home network. Many of these devices make your house vulnerable. As an example Apple regular update the operating system to ensure you device remains safe from threats, sadly your smart device and intelligent home devices won't invest as much money to do the regular updates and would you know how to do them anyway? This makes poor security a hackers dream. Once into your home network the hacker can exploit other devices and get access to personal information leading to theft and identity crimes.
So what can you do to keep safe?
Here are a few simple things to think about:
- Secure your router by changing the default admin password, make it a hard password to crack.
- Give your router a name. Don't stick with the name the manufacturer gave it
- Use a strong encryption method for Wi-Fi. In your router settings, it's a good idea to use a strong encryption method, like WPA2, when you set up Wi-Fi network access. This will help keep your network and communications secure.
- Set up a guest network - so this stops multiple devices from outside of your normal house smart devices being on the same network
- Change default usernames and passwords on every smart device.
- Have a family policy that all members use strong, unique passwords for Wi-Fi networks and device accounts - do not use the same password for everything. Avoid common words or passwords that are easy to guess, such as "password" or "123456."
- Disable features on devices you may not need, many devices come with a variety of services such as remote access, often enabled by default.
- Keep your software up to date.
- Activate Two-factor authentication — such as a one-time code sent to your cellphone — this can keep the bad guys out of your accounts. If your smart-device apps offer two-factor authentication, or 2FA, use it.
- Don't bury your head in the sand - take home security serious
Smart home devices are fantastic for making life that bit more simple and ensuring your house runs more efficiently but be strategic and know how much of a security risk each device is to your home network.