More and more individuals are purchasing ‘smart devices’ and are increasingly improving their homes to be smarter by way of connected devices and appliances. From the door and doorbell, to windows, the AC, the fridge, the water heater, and everything in between; if it’s a part of your home, chances are that there’s a smart device version available for purchase.
When all is connected around you, security is something you simply cannot fail to neglect. The last thing you want is for someone to take control over your precious things at home, and your privacy.
Think we’re exaggerating? The fact is that the largest attack of 2016 saw hundreds of thousands of devices being used simultaneously in what became known as the Mirai botnet, mounting what was a frighteningly simple attack. To help circumvent such attacks in the future, and keep your smart devices safe from vicious attacks, we’ve put together 9 tips you should keep in mind:
9 Security Tips for Connected Devices
- Create two different Wi-Fi networks at home- If you use a dual band wifi router, create one network that will take care of all your home IoT and another network that will work with all your other screen devices, such as mobile, tablet and PCs.
- Using unsecure network at home? That’s not gonna work for you anymore if you value your privacy and security at home. Turn on secure networks like WPA2 in the settings web page of your router.
- Give your networks bizarre names. Networks with your name and identity on them obviously make it ridiculously easy to connect the dots and attack and hack your home. Don’t use your name and words like “home”, “kitchen”, “garage”, “living room” etc.
- Passwords – Use complex passwords with a long string of random numbers, letters, and symbols. And make it long, 15-20 letters long. Go wild with the complexity, there are great free password managers out there.
- Get alerts if someone is trying to log in to your network more than x times with the wrong password. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a super nifty way of setting up all sorts of alerts and social hacks for your smart device.
- Firewall yourself and your devices. Firewall permits and restricts access to your network. Once you’ve permitted access to your IoT devices, be sure them and just them are accounted for in accessing your network. You can Google firewalls and get something for your home network.
- Update your connected devices’ firmware on a regular basis. Firmware updates keep your devices protected against exploits and potential vulnerabilities, and of course, give you the latest and coolest updates over the air.
- Choose a reputable brand- Buy products from companies that are committed to security and privacy as much as they are committed to their own brand. Buy something familiar that you trust won’t disappear in a year. Also, ask your friends and the internets about them and if they are happy with their customer support.
- Be prepared for an attack – limit any personal information stored in your home IoT device. If your network was hacked, change all the passwords to everything, contact your bank, credit card, internet provider and IoT companies, and document everything. Once the extent of the cyber-attack has been determined, file a police report as an official record to help combat identity theft.