How To Secure Your Smart Home

San Diego, is your home filled with smart devices? If you are like most homeowners, you have multiple products and devices connected to your home network. From TVs to thermostats and locks to smart security systems, with hacking on the rise, you might want to know how to make your smart home secure. Even if your home is not controlled from a central hub like most fully automated homes are, if you have internet connected devices, this article is for you too!

We’ve all heard the horror stories about hacked baby monitors and security cameras. Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to hack smart home products and devices (IoT). That’s because smart home device hacking can be extremely effective. In fact, if something in your home has become a part of a botnet, it can be used for things like a DDoS attack or cryptocurrency-mining.

The home network is getting more complicated and dangerous than ever with an increasing number of smart devices now connecting to it. The problem with this is that many devices have security issues that attackers can use. With the scale of home networks becoming exceedingly similar to that of small office networks, management and security across your devices have become more important than ever. Especially for the often overlooked router. To better understand how to protect your smart home, we’ve compiled easy to follow tech tips that dramatically lower your smart devices’ susceptibility to hackers.

What Smart Home Products Are Vulnerable to Hackers? 

If you want to know how to secure your smart home, it’s starts with understanding which smart home devices are vulnerable to hackers. Here’s the thing, all smart home products are vulnerable to hackers. While using cameras, motion sensors, smart door locks, and other security devices may be a convenient way to improve your home security, it can also be a gateway for hackers to see what everyone’s doing inside the home.

Even smart refrigerators with online shopping options can be a way for hackers to steal data like someone’s banking information. In other words, connected products and devices can be hacked like any website or computer. But what makes them most susceptible is that most of them are behind poorly secured consumer-grade home routers. This means, one thing to look at, is upgrading your home network.

The bottom line, hackers can gain access to your home network through a device that has a known vulnerability (Zero-Day Exploit). Which is why you must update the second one is available (don’t ignore them) they are there for a reason! With this in mind, we offer some insight on which smart devices are most at risk and why below.

Which Smart Devices (are at risk):

  • Outdoor devices like garage door openers, wireless doorbells and smart sprinklers (they have little to no security protocols)
    • Because they are easily accessible to someone driving down the street with a computer or other Wi-Fi transmitter.
  • Devices controlled by apps like smart bulbs, smart switches, smart door locks, thermostats, baby monitors (etc)
    • Because they rely on weak security tokens and may be hacked due to weakness in communication protocols used
    • Additionally, configuration settings or vulnerable entry-points left open by the vendor for maintenance can also be used
    • Outdated firmware or app updates

How to Secure Your Home Network: Create A Secure WiFi Network

It goes without saying that if your home network is not secure, nothing else in your home will be secure. For most people, they rely their internet service provider to set things up. Be cautious about using the network’s name and password they used. What you really need to do is change it as soon as they leave making sure to use a strong password that is not easy to crack. When doing so, also make sure to choose a network name that doesn’t give away your location or personal details. On a side note, you might want to consider hiding your network from view.

Another option is creating a Wi-Fi network specifically for your smart home devices. This way, if your IoT device is hacked, it will confine the attacker to that network and keep it segregated (from where you do your banking for example). It is also a good idea to set up a guest network for your visitors with smartphones and computers. This way, they cannot see or access your IoT devices.

Enable Automatic Updates

Additionally, make sure your WiFi router has automatic software updates enabled. If security updates aren’t automatic, you may find it hard to apply them, or forget completely. This will leave your WiFi router vulnerable to an attack at all times. Remember, a vulnerable router means a vulnerable smart home.

How to Secure Your Home Network: Use Strong Passwords

Never underestimate the importance of passwords. Using a weak password is like leaving your home unlocked at all times. The best thing you can do to keep your smart home secure, is to create a strong password. And by that, we do not mean one with your kid’s name with few symbols and numbers. Take you PASSWORDS seriously

Otherwise, the password to your WiFi network or security camera might be just a Google search away. For this reason, use unique, hard-to-guess passwords with several characters, numbers, and letters for your network and on all of your devices. You may even want to consider using a password manager like LastPass.

Finally, use two-factor authentication. Even if the hacker inputs the right login info, they won’t be able access it without a special code (which is usually sent via text message or email). You’ll even get a notification of suspicious activity so you can change your password when needed.

San Diego Smart Home Technology Monitoring & Management

Wondering how to keep your smart home secure? At Shultz Audio Video, we know the investment you made in your equipment and technology is important. Which is why we offer home technology performance plans that are designed to take care of everything. From system integrations, programming, software and networks updates to connectivity to your internet service.

We also diagnose, troubleshoot, monitor, update (to keep you secure) and maintain your systems. And, we even schedule periodic wellness visits to calibrate and run performance checks on your equipment and systems.

With SAVCare, we make it our responsibility to ensure the equipment and systems that make up your technology solution operate not only today, but also in the future. For more information on our customer care plans call our office at (760) 505-7461 or click on the button below to fill out a contact form.