There were about 130 million smart households in the United States. The thing is any IoT device will still have weak points in terms of cyber threats and attacks. Even security systems that are meant to give safety can still be compromised by the black hat hackers.
While it’s pretty convenient to make your house automated and be able to control your electronic appliances remotely, it’s your home network that’s the most vulnerable entry point to breaching.
How to hack-proof it? Here are five recommended actions you should follow.
1. Secure WiFi Network
It’s not wrong to generously share your personal home network with other people. It’s just that doing so is also openly offering an entryway to any hackers. Anyone who has your WiFi access can see your unsecured web traffic. If things go wrong, your information, like bank details, can be easily leaked and manipulated.
You could still let your relatives, friends, or guests use your home network. But to be safe, let them use a guest network instead, in which they can only connect to the Internet but can’t access your other IoT gadgets. Still and all, you have to make sure that your WiFi has a very strong password. Utilizing a network scanner is a must-do, as well.
2. Choose the Right Router
Consumer-grade routers are surely inexpensive, but they’re frustratingly vulnerable to hacking. You don’t want to prioritize affordability over security, right? It’s not necessary to purchase routers from reputable brands, though. They have their own lapses, too. The point is to choose your router well and make sure to prioritize quality.
It’s best for you to buy routers that can allow you to create multiple networks, where each network has its name and password. When hackers try to breach your smart home devices, they can be confined to another network, which doesn’t have your sensitive information. One example of this is the guest network that was mentioned earlier.
Finally, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, too. If you were asked to rename your network name and create a new password, then do it. Otherwise, they’ll be just a Google search away. Make your network name unique, something that doesn’t transparently give hints about your location and personal details. It’s best to keep your network hidden. You can easily set it in the router’s settings menu.
3. Register and Update Devices
Registering devices with the manufacturer would keep them up to date. From time to time, companies would release software updates, which address not only software bugs but security concerns, as well. It can be irritating to update any software or devices, but it will be way more devastating if a hacker gets into your system.
You need these manufacturer’s software updates to patch up any newfound vulnerability in your network security or other IoT devices. It’s important to note that it’s not mandatory to grant permission right away, even if the ones that asked are associated apps of your device. Always be cognizant.
4. Beware of Free Files/Software, Links, and Exposed Websites
Many of us can’t resist the temptation of ‘free’ computer application music or film. Hackers know this, and they typically attach viruses on these free files or software. Once you download them, the hacker can immediately get through to your network’s security through the viruses. As the cliche goes, prevention is better than cure—go legit when downloading.
Another way hackers would breach your network is through links either through instant messages, texts, or emails. There are many cases like this on Facebook, and worse is that people only think of it as simple chain messages. But, no. These odd links may potentially have viruses. Once you click the link, the virus allows a hacker to access your network.
A link meant for hacking may seem a lot harder to recognize, especially if the incorporated message came from your close friends or relatives, professionals, or reputable companies. Still and all, you have to be sure. Always stop and think before clicking.
5. Consider Professional Installation
For others who aren’t techy, your heads are probably spinning now. In case the information here is overwhelming, trust the professionals.
Check ADT or Protection One review here, for example. These home security providers offer professional installations. Rest assured, their technicians can handle more advanced security measures and can entertain all of your questions.
One safety measure you should do is to hover over the link and check the web address. Recheck whether the domain is legitimate or not. Check the address, whether it has ‘https’ (mind the -s) at the start. Having so means there’s a secure encrypted connection between the site and yourself. If it’s only ‘http’ (no -s), then the encryption isn’t there, and it’s more likely unsafe. So if you encounter an exposed http site, never input your personal information!