owadays, everyone wants a smart home. If almost all your appliances are connected to your mobile gadgets, you can do just about anything without lifting a finger. Do you want to re-heat food while you’re watching a big game? Done! You want your television set already on the moment you arrive home? Done! You want to turn on the air-conditioner in your bedroom so that it’ll be cold enough by the time you get there? Done! A smart home makes everything easier and more instant, but at the same time, you don’t know how truly vulnerable your home is to other people.
As the world becomes more digital, so do criminals. If they’re able to hack into your smart home, there’s no limit to what kind of damage they can do that can ruin your household. Fortunately, you can avoid being the victim of such by protecting it in any way you can. But how? Here are 10 easy yet extremely helpful ways to do so.
Know How to Use your Gadgets Properly
Before doing anything else, make sure you understand thoroughly how your smart home works. Just because it looks nice on the TV ad or you’re impressed by how your neighbor does it, it doesn’t mean that you’ll understand it immediately. Know how to properly connect your appliances to your mobile gadgets, setting up a security system to protect them from cybercriminals, and how you can monitor your home even when you’re away. This might be the most boring part of having a smart home, but it also makes all the difference!
Label your Router
Usually, your wi-fi router has a default name when you install it in your home. And while there’s no need to replace it, doing so can better protect your smart home. When cybercriminals target a smart home, it’s usually through the wi-fi where they get through to the system. A default router name makes it easier for them to get access and make all kinds of damage to your home. If you change the name to something only you and your family will understand, you’re more or less protected from such attacks.
Don’t Leave Anything Default
In the same vein, it’s important that you don’t leave anything default in your wireless systems. If you and your family each have your own accounts, make sure the names and passwords of such are unique to each and every one of you. This way, you’re all less out in the open for attack by cybercriminals. Furthermore, you’ll also have an easier time tracking down which source (person) turned an appliance on, locked the door, etc.
Privatize your Wi-Fi
There’s nothing wrong with having a public wi-fi. As they say, “Sharing is Caring!” But when it comes to living in a smart home, privatizing your wireless connection makes it less vulnerable to outside forces, especially cybercriminals. One thing you can do is to set up two wi-fi accounts instead, one for your smart home and one that’s for public use. When you have guests over, you can allow them access to the latter while the former safeguard your house from being cyber-attacked.
Update Software when Needed
When your software needs updating, do so immediately. An un-updated software is easier to hack than an updated one. This is because, since the software is already quite old (in tech standards), cybercriminals will have an easier time hacking into it and attacking your smart home. But when your systems are updated, it’s possible that such, no matter how knowledgeable they are in their deeds, will have a much more difficult time navigating through a newly updated system.
Update Your Passwords Too
No matter how unique or complicated your passwords are, if they remain the same all throughout your stay in your smart home, you’re still vulnerable to cyber attacks. Here’s why: doing cybercrime is much easier to do again and again since, most of the time, the perpetrators are left undetected, especially when they didn’t succeed the first time around. If at one point, they succeed in getting your password and you don’t change it every once in a while, it’s more possible for them to hack into your system and finally make the damage they’ve been planning to do.
Stay Updated Every Once and a While
In the same way that you updated your smart home’s wireless systems, you should also stay updated with what’s going with your home. Install video cameras inside your home so that you’ll instantly know if there are any weird occurrences that might happen while you’re out. It’s when you’re not at home when cybercriminals strike, but when you’re aware of their attacks, you can notify the right authorities as soon as possible. At the same time, if you forgot to turn off an appliance, you can do so without having to go all the way back home as well.
Lessen Talk to Digital Assistants
How will cybercriminals know that you have a smart home? Usually, they listen in on how you operate around the house. These sort of criminals aren’t one to wait until you sleep or leave the house when they attack. In fact, they spend time learning your every move to create a strategy on how to attack. In this regard, don’t give them any info by lessening your use of a digital assistant. The more they listen in on your conversations with either Siri or Alexa, the more they’ll know how and when to attack your home.
Make Use of Normal Appliances form Time to Time
Similarly, cybercriminals also observe how you use your appliances. It’s part of how they plan their crime to be as foolproof as possible. So to thwart them, you should also make use of normal appliances from time to time. Every now and again, actually go downstairs to turn on your oven to cook your meal. Switch your TV yourself when you want to watch something. These might also help avoid the starting of fires as well, which might become common when you have a smart home. These small actions make all the difference in ensuring your smart home’s safety from any cyber attacks.
Let Your Neighbors Help You
Although a smart home is supposed to take care of itself, it can only do so much when you’re not there. And if you don’t have a way of knowing what’s going on in your home when you’re out, you can always let your neighbors help you. Ask them to call you as soon as they can when they hear or notice that strange things are occurring in your home when you’re not there. This will make it easier and faster for you to notify the right authorities.
These 10 tips and more will protect your smart home when you’re away. You don’t have to worry at all as your household will still be the way you left it by the time you come home.