Are you holding out on getting any smart home devices? If so, you’re not alone, and you’re not paranoid either. Safety is a major concern with smart home devices, and it’s one that more people should probably consider.
The benefits of a smart home system are obvious. With smart systems come enhanced the convenience and even some safety features. Forgot to lock your doors? You can do it from traffic on your commute to work. Forgot to turn off the curling iron? You can do that too (as long as it’s plugged into a smart adapter).
But with all this convenience comes a natural concern. What happens if someone hacks into your system?
At this point, we’ve all dealt with security breaches on some level. Someone hacking into your home would probably feel the most invasive.
So in this post, we’re going to cover a few tips for making your smart home a safe home.
Be careful about using cheaper devices
No one will begrudge you for wanting to save a little money, but this isn’t an area to go for the budget option. The big names in smart home devices follow standard security protocols like ZigBee, Z-Wave, or S2. There’s no guarantee that the cheaper ones do, and that may leave you exposed to security breaches.
If you want to stay safe, stick with known brands like Google, Amazon, Phillips, Nest, and Belkin. And stay away from the obscure brand names that you’ve never heard of.
Stay off public Wi-Fi
You might be tempted to check your home network from work or a café, but you should resist that temptation. You probably already know that this is dangerous, but it’s definitely worth a reminder. Because of what’s at stake, you don’t want to risk exposing your home network to hackers. And that’s exactly what happens when you access your smart home network from a public network.
Use smart passwords
We’re all guilty of using names or other simple passwords because they’re easy to remember. And who wants to get locked out of their smart home? But this is the perfect time to get smarter about your password creation and management. Create a super-secure password and store it in a place where hackers can’t find it. Ideally, you could slip a piece of paper with the password into your wallet. Just don’t include any other identifiable information in case your wallet gets stolen. You can also use a password manager. Learn all about the best password managers of 2019 here.
Set up a guest network
Set up a guest network and password that you can share with friends and family when they come to visit. This way, no one will have access to the password for the wifi that connects to your IoT smart home devices.
Disable features you don’t need
Check the pre-installed features on your smart home devices. If there are features you aren’t using, turn them off. Things like remote access can be helpful, but they can also leave you more exposed to an attack. So if you aren’t using them, turn off the feature. It’s easy enough to turn it on if you need to later.
Update your software
Software updates can definitely be annoying, but you don’t want to skip them for your smart home devices or home computers. Software updates contain security patches to help keep your devices safer. As hackers become more advanced, manufacturers learn how they are accessing their devices and find ways to stop them. That’s what these patches are for, so don’t skip them.
Smart home devices can be very safe if you follow the appropriate steps and purchase from well-known brands. But even the best security systems have their own weaknesses.