Safety and Protection

Ways to Protect Your Smart Home

Erin Palmer

May 10, 2017

Ways to protect your smart home

Smart technology lets you change the temperature in your house without leaving your bed if you wake up feeling chilly or too hot. You could check the contents of your refrigerator while you’re at the grocery store or start your favorite song by simply requesting it out loud. What a time to be alive!

With all the fantastic perks that come from smart technology in the home, there is also an increased need for security. The more devices that you use increases the potential risks that you are vulnerable to.

Most people know to protect their laptops, tablets and smartphones, but what about all of the other smart technology in your home?

Here are some tips to help protect your entire home network and all of the smart technology within it:

Don’t Underestimate Hackers

You may be thinking “Why would anyone want to hack into my thermostat? And even if they did, who cares?”

Part of the reason why smart technology can be vulnerable is that users don’t worry as much about protecting them. After all, would someone go through the trouble of hacking into a smart thermostat simply to change the temperature in your home?

Unfortunately, it’s more dangerous than that. Hackers can take something as simple as an unprotected smart thermostat and use it as part of a larger cyber-attack.

To put it simply, hackers can use unprotected internet-connected devices like smart refrigerators, smart thermometers and DVRs and control these items without the owner’s knowledge. Hackers can turn the devices into a network called a botnet and use them in negative ways.

These sorts of botnets have been used in the past to attack the infrastructure that keeps major websites running, which can cause outages for major websites like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and more.

Even if a smart device seems harmless, a hacker can likely find a way to use it. That’s why every device in your home needs protection.

Even with a strong password, you should also use malware protection to keep your devices safe. Antivirus protection and firewalls can help you find malware and keep it from infecting your devices.

Create Secure Passwords and Use Malware Protection

With or without many smart devices in your home, a secure Wi-Fi password is always a must. Here are some password tips:

  • Use a combination of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, special characters and even spaces
  • Make sure to use a unique password for each item, don’t reuse the same password
  • Don’t choose simple passwords that are easy to guess, like 123456
  • Don’t use personal information as a password, like your child’s birthday

Even with a strong password, you should also use malware protection to keep your devices safe. Antivirus protection and firewalls can help you find malware and keep it from infecting your devices.

Use Multifactor Authentication When Possible

Multifactor authentication is an additional level of security that can help protect your smart devices. This could be a one-time password that gets emailed or texted directly to you so you can confirm the log in process. A thumbprint scan is another option for multifactor authentication.

All of these options may not be available with each device, but if there is a multifactor authentication option, take advantage of it. This extra level of protection could help keep your devices more secure.

Keep Your Security Updated

Cyber criminals create new schemes and attack methods all the time, which means that protecting your home network is a long-term need. Even if you use all of the methods above, you still want to make sure that you keep all of your security items up to date to get the maximum protection.

Security updates are created to keep up with the latest threats, so make sure that any time an update is available, you take advantage of it right away. Even putting it off for a few days can make your smart home more vulnerable. The small amount of time it takes to do an update is time well spent if it helps keep your home safe!

Find a Branch or ATM

We’re local, serving multiple counties in Florida