Protect your smart home from potential hackers
Connected devices are wonderful inventions and 25% of UK households already have at least one. You can talk directly to them and they can talk to each other and they’re all about making your life easier and saving you money – what’s not to love?
Well actually, identity fraud for one thing. If these connections aren’t secure, they’re leaving the door open to hackers who can take over your connected device or appliance. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is pretty harmless for things like connected lightbulbs, but they can be a gateway to controlling the rest of your home.
Download software updates
You should be regularly checking for software updates for your smart device, just as you do with your smartphone (you do with your smartphone, right?!). The reason for these updates is bug-fixing and improvement in security. If you don’t download new versions and continue using one that’s out of date, your device could end up being less secure.
Can you split your Wi-Fi?
Talk to your internet provider about creating a guest network for all your connected devices. That way, you can keep them on a separate network to your smartphone and laptop and means if it’s compromised, the devices with your personal information on it won’t be.
Use strong passwords
It seems like a pain and we’re all tempted to use something easy, but having a strong password could mean the difference between being hacked and staying secure. Include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters and don’t use the same password for multiple devices.
You should also ALWAYS change the password that comes with the device.
Use anti-virus software
There are new viruses being created every single day, and many of them are targeting new connected devices that people don’t know how to keep secure yet. Wherever possible (and especially on your laptop or computer) use anti-virus software and update it regularly.
Be vigilant with phishing emails and suspicious phone calls. Many phishing emails are very realistic imitations now and it can be hard to spot a fake.
NEVER click on a link from an email you’re not expecting. If you get a notification asking for action and you’re not sure if it’s real or not; close the email, open your browser and log into your account online. If you have the same notification there, then you know you need to take action. If you have no such notification, delete the email from your inbox or put it in your junk folder.
Do you have any other tips on smart home security? Share them with our community in the comments below!