How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers: 16 Best Tips

Here are some tips to make your smart home security and protect your smart home from hackers. Smart home devices are convenient and make our life easier, but they are not always as secure as you think.

Smart IoT devices are a thing of the future. People are continuously moving towards a more innovative future with devices that you can control with your voice so you won’t have to do an action for, say, switching off the light, turning on the speaker, locking your door. The list keeps going on, but how to protect your smart home from hackers?

Quick Tips to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

As smart home technology advances, cybercriminals will use the tools and tricks to hack into smart home systems. Before you consider unplugging any of your devices, think of what you can do to add an extra layer of security to keep the hackers out to protect your smart home from hackers.

How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

Smart homes offer convenience and security risks. Here is what you can do to stop hackers from taking control of your smart speaker, thermostat, doorbell, and other connected devices to protect your smart home from hackers.

Protect your smart home from hackers in: 3 days

  1. Replace outdated routers

    An old router means vulnerable security protocols and a more accessible access point for hackers.

  2. Update firmware

    Firmware is the low-level software that powers your router and other Internet-related things. Configure your device to automatically update or set a reminder to check for updates regularly.

  3. Create a secure Wi-Fi network

    Purchase a router from a reputable brand and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to change the network's name and default password.

  4. Unplug devices that are not in use

    When you go out, unplug any appliances that won’t be active. Not only will it save on your energy bill, but it will also make them inaccessible to hackers.

  5. Always stick with reputable brands.

    Most security experts agree that it’s best to pick smart devices from established brands. It means they employ better security measures when designing their products.

NOTE: Tech expert George Passidakis from Apex Technology Management in Redding states hackers can get into your system and access it via the internet wifi and router.

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Why You Have to be Careful?

While convenience is a significant perk for smart homes, the other side of the coin here is the security breaches that steal away your privacy. For example, if you have a smart camera at your home that is continuously monitoring your house, it can also upload the footage on some server that could be hackable. So how to protect your smart home from hackers?

How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers
Be Careful – How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

Hackers can steal away your information first, and the rest is in their hands regarding what to do with the information they have about you.

So what can you do to secure your smart home? Here are some of the best tips to protect your smart home from hackers.

Use Different Password for Every Account 

To protect your smart home from hackers, a basic idea is to have a very different password for every consideration you have. Smart products are connected to the software. While it could be convenient to have a similar password for each account, you could compare it to an individual serving the data on a plate to the hacker.

Anti-Virus Protection

There is plenty of excellent antivirus software on the market, including some robust free options. Unfortunately, most smart home devices lack the computing power to run dedicated antivirus software.

But antivirus protection works great for your tablets, laptops, and PCs to protect your smart home from hackers. While not precisely smart home devices, they are still part of the same network and could provide as much or more access to your private information and accounts.

Don’t just go for the free trial versions. Do your research, find out which antivirus applications are the best, and purchase its premium version.

Antivirus software is essential to protect your smart home from hackers and also to protect your home systems from malware that could lead to stolen data and financial information, as well as a host of other potential threats.

Wi-Fi Security is Must

How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers
Wi-Fi Security – How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

Securing your WiFi router is another essential tip to protect your smart home from hackers. Most smart devices connect to your device through the same Wi-Fi network your phone is connected to these days.

Make your wifi password stronger with a number, or maybe some special characters. It should not be easily guessable and definitely not related to you in any way, certainly not your phone number to protect your smart home from hackers.

Enable Two Factor Authentication 

Two Factor Authentication is the process of adding an extra layer of security for your account besides the password you already have to protect your smart home from hackers. With Two Factor Authentication, you will always get an OTP on the mobile number you'll have to put in before logging in to your account. While many services might not have the functionality, you should definitely enable it wherever you have the option.

Firewalls for Security

How To Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers
Firewalls – How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

Firewalls act as antivirus for the network. Only authorized users can access the network with the firewall enabled, making it harder for hackers to break into your network.

Avoid Spammy Websites

Whenever you’re downloading data from websites or torrents, ensure 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.

What About Guest Mode

Most of the smart routers have an option to enable the guest mode. With guest mode, you can control which guests have access to content. You can even set the bandwidth and data limit that the guest will use.

Keep an Eye on App Permissions 

Tips on How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers
App Permissions – How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

A smart home app always asks you for permissions on your phone regarding what it can access. You should definitely look into what the app is accessing and disable those permissions that make you suspicious or don't use things to protect your smart home from hackers.

Keep Your Smartphone 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 to block their lost phones or even recover them. Read through instructions on your phone so if any such scenario does occur, you’ll be well-equipped to deal with it as soon as you can.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi for Remote Access

Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure because hackers can monitor unencrypted traffic and send out malware. All online activity is vulnerable, including when you control smart home devices.

If you must use an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your data so watching eyes can’t read it.

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Always Choose Wisely 

How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers
Choose Good Brands – How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

Choose smart home devices wisely to protect your smart home from hackers. It would be best to buy smart home devices from well-known brands and have a good reputation in the market. Cheaper products always attract customers, but lower prices can also mean zero privacy.

Even if a major brand product is expensive, the brand ensures that your privacy is prioritized. 

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 devices 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.

Keep Your Devices Up to Date

How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers
Stay Updated – How to Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

Keeping your devices up to date with the latest software version available is one of the most important things to keep in mind because brands often release new security patches with the latest code that will prevent hackers from hacking your devices.

FAQs About Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

  1. How to secure your smart home devices?

    Give your router a unique name. Always use a robust encryption method for Wi-Fi. Change default usernames and passwords. Set up a guest network. Use strong, unique passwords for Wi-Fi networks and device accounts. Disable features you may not need.

  2. How to protect IoT devices from hackers?

    Protect yourself against cybersecurity attacks. Ensure your product has no exposed ports or connectors. Implement locks or other ways to ensure that only authorized people can get access to your product.

  3. Should IoT devices be on the guest network?

    If you want to put your smart home devices on a guest network, that’s fine, but it may not add much more security. It’s better to install a router that supports VLANs, or Virtual LANs, for your smart home devices. 

Final Words: Protect Your Smart Home From Hackers

Most smart devices feature an option in their settings to automatically update when not in use. Turn on this setting to keep your software current to protect your smart home from hackers. This ensures any potential issues that could make you vulnerable are eliminated as quickly as discovered.

Pressure has continuously been mounting on manufacturers to employ stringent security practices. However, companies should enforce more tough security measures. It also starts with you and how you manage your system. You need to be very proactive and ensure you put all the necessary steps to safeguard your smart home.

How comfortable are you with the connected devices you have in your home? Do you feel like they’re a privacy risk, or do you feel secure with them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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