What You Need to Know About Home Automation Security
December 14, 2017
An influx of home automation tech makes maintaining and securing your abode easier. Could these smart devices pose a security risk themselves? Like all Internet-connected devices, smart tech can potentially be hacked. A survey found only 10 percent of consumers have experienced this type of security breach, reports Business Wire. With a few basic security practices, you can strengthen your defenses and enjoy the convenience of home automation without sacrificing your peace of mind.
Home Automation Security and Your Smartphone
Accessing your smart thermostat, security systems and lighting from your mobile device may be convenient, but it also means that securing your smartphone is more important than ever. One easy way to do this is to use passcode protection. While this measure may seem like a no-brainer, a Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report revealed that only 33 percent of consumers use passcodes on their smartphones. Consider creating a code of at least six to eight digits, and take advantage of features such as fingerprint or facial recognition for extra security.
Want more protection for locks, security cameras and other sensitive smart products? If you're using an Android system, you can lock individual smart device apps to protect them from prying eyes.
Put Your Mind at Ease with Security-Minded Smart Products
Home automation security begins at the checkout counter (or webpage). Consider opting for name-brand automation tech with a good track record, and avoid lesser-known manufacturers that try to draw buyers in with low price tags. These products may lack key security features.
While secondhand shopping is a smart option if you're looking for upcycled furniture, smart products are more time-sensitive, so it's better to buy them new. Older models may not be built to receive manufacturers' security updates. Plus, used smart home products could have been tampered with before they were sold.
How to Secure Wi-Fi for a Safer Smart Home
How can you toughen up smart gadget security to ward off remote hackers? You can secure your connection to keep them from accessing your home in the first place. Consider connecting your devices wirelessly using a secure router from a recognized brand, and have all products on a second network reserved specifically for home automation devices. That way, you can create an extra protective barrier for your personal data from smartphones and computers.
Amping up home automation security can also be as simple as changing passwords from their factory defaults, which are easy to find online. You can create a unique password for your router, your Wi-Fi connection and your home automation devices, including smart locks and thermostats. When creating passwords, try to avoid using names and words that are easy to figure out; instead, you can choose random strings of numbers, letters and characters.
Stay on Top of Updates
You can stay on the cutting edge of smart home security by installing updates from your smart tech manufacturers on a regular basis. Consider updating the devices themselves as well as their corresponding mobile apps, and try to keep the firmware of your router always up to date.
While on-screen reminders are helpful in pushing you to install updates, products without screens often create a set-it-and-forget-it mentality. To check your smart devices for updates, you can log into your account on the company's site or open your home automation mobile apps on a regular basis.
The idea of home automation security breaches can be alarming, but don't fret just yet. If you stay vigilant and treat your home automation security just as you would your computer or smartphone, you can ensure that the security benefits of your smart devices outweigh the risks.
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