Smart Home Safety Tips

Like anything connected to the internet, smart homes are prone to hackers if you don’t have the proper protection. Cyber security experts say that every aspect of a smart home can potentially be hacked, even your fridge and baby monitor.

Which devices are the most likely to get hacked?

There are three tiers:

  • Devices outside the home are the most vulnerable. These are your doorbells, garage openers, and sprinkler systems.
  • Devices inside the home that can be accessed through remote locations like your phone or computer at work are lower risk but not exempt. These are your thermostats, smart bulbs, baby monitors, door locks, and security systems.
  • Other in-home devices, such as your fridge and ovens, are lower on the list, but the possibility still exists if they use Bluetooth or your wireless network.

While it seems odd to hack a fridge, by doing so, they can connect to the rest of your network. They don’t care about the contents of your deli drawer, but they can quickly jump from that to your in-house speaker system, which includes microphones.

What can you do to protect your home?

Nothing can protect it 100%, but there are certain precautions you can take. We’ll cover a few here.

  • Make sure your wifi connection is secure.
    • This means you should only purchase a router from a well-known company and immediately change the network’s name and give it a new password.
    • Consider creating a second network within the home for your smart devices that don’t connect to your computers and security system.
  • Choose a strong password and change it frequently.
    • In today’s age, it can be easy to guess your password. Make sure you aren’t using anyone’s name or birthday, and consider using capital letters in the middle of a word.
  • Register each device with the company you purchased it from.
    • You want to do every software date available, as many hold security protections once issues are found. To do this, you need the device registered with the manufacturer.
  • Get your devices professionally installed.
    • Yes, DIY will save you some money, but the professionals know how to keep your network secure and connect each device to the safest network.
  • If you aren’t using it, unplug it.
    • Any device that isn’t in use needs to be off when latent. While this won’t work for your fridge, you can turn off the smart capabilities if you’re heading out of town.
  • If you plan to sell the devices, reset them.
    • Smart home devices have high resale value, which means when you’re ready to upgrade them, you’ll probably be trading them in or selling them in an online marketplace. If you don’t factory reset, you can be handing your information over to anyone and everyone.

Don’t let this deter you from getting a smart home altogether. This will be the new normal sooner than later. Just be sure you’re following the guidelines, and you’ll be good to go!