Five Tips to Keep Your Smart Home Safe

Updated: May 13, 2020

Smart devices are quickly becoming a regular feature in American homes. Whether it is a single Amazon Echo or Google Home, or a fully connected smart home controlling the lights, temperature, cameras, locks, and appliances, the smart home of the future is becoming a reality today.

Even people who are concerned about cybersecurity often don’t think about securing their smart home. So, many smart device owners were shocked to hear how vulnerable their devices are to hackers. Researchers recently announced that they found they could hack devices from hundreds of feet away using a simple laser pointer or flashlight – even through a window. It turns out that many devices react the same way to light as they do sound. Using this method, hackers could turn lights on and off, open garage doors, unlock doors, and even make online purchases.

Smart devices can be a great way to make our homes safer and more convenient. However, we need to be vigilant to keep our homes safe from intrusions like this. Staying safe from hackers with laser pointers may be as easy as keeping your devices away from windows. However, there are many other ways to gain access to your smart home.

Here are 5 tips to keep your smart home safe:

1. Change the Setting on Your Devices

Many devices ship with default user names and passwords. Many users never bother to change these. Unfortunately, default user names and passwords are often readily available on the internet. This means that if a hacker can figure out what type of device you have and you haven’t changed the default settings, gaining access is easy.

2. Protect Your Router and WiFi

Often the easiest way for someone to gain access to your smart home is through your router or WiFi. Like with your other devices, be sure to change the default settings. Also, be sure to enable the security on your WiFi using strong encryption like WPA2 and use a strong password. If you have visitors who would like WiFi access, most modern routers allow you to set up a guest network. A guest network can be configured so that users can access the internet but not anything else on your network.

3. Check Your Settings

Smart device owners rarely take time to look at the range of settings that can be changed. It is especially important to check your security settings because the default options are not always the most secure.

4. Update, Update, Update

Device manufacturers are constantly providing updates, and many of them are related to security issues. Don’t assume that your devices are updating automatically. Even if your device is brand new, updates may have been released since it left the factory. So, play it safe and double-check.

5. Consider When it is Time for an Upgrade

Eventually, most device manufacturers stop providing support and updates for devices. This often leaves them vulnerable to hackers. If your device is more than a few years old, be sure that it is still receiving security updates. If not, it might be time to upgrade to the latest model, especially since the newer models are often more secure by design.

Do you need help with your network security? At Cleartech Group, we have gathered a group of experts who have knowledge and expertise in high-tech security. Contact us today at (978) 466-1938 or reach out online.