4 ways to keep your home secure when using IoT devices
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Every year, new and improved gadgets are put on the marketplace for homeowners looking to make their house smarter, more efficient, and more in line with the 21st century. The development of deep learning algorithms means that these devices have never been more advanced. As homes become ‘smarter’, it is up to the homeowner to ensure they are kept secure and get the best out of their IoT devices.
Modern-day home devices can come in the form of entertainment systems, door locks, doorbells, security cameras, thermostats, and much more. The intention is to make life more convenient, helping in the everyday tasks that can be forgotten like turning the heating off before leaving the house.
While these appliances add a huge help, they still require a small amount of human interference to maintain the required security standard. Due to all home IoT devices being connected to the same source of the internet, there is a slight chance of each being able to be accessed by outside cybercriminals. This poses the risk of personal information being taken so it’s important to ensure that these devices are secure.
How to keep your home secure when using IoT devices
1. Name the network router
Network routers always come with a name given by the manufacturer – it’s a series of letters and numbers that in some cases will identify the make or model of the router. This information is quite valuable to a cyber attacker as it helps them to break into the router’s system and the IoT devices it is attached to.
To avoid this, rename the router as soon as possible. Ensure that it is as unique as possible while not addressing any real information such as personal names or street addresses. Any person looking for the make or model of the router will have a hard time, making it difficult to detect any attached home devices.
2. Keep software up to date
Some people may be irritated by the repetitive software update requests that are sent through most home devices, but it is important not to ignore them.
Many individuals don’t realize that these software updates are actually there to secure them against new flaws that are detected. Such flaws are beneficial to cyberattackers, who will be on the lookout for devices that have yet to install the latest update. Once a device is picked up by hackers, they can quickly work their way in.
This problem is particularly important for any mobile device, as this is likely the main piece of technology that connects to the IoT smart home to control the applications. With the mobile phone being a key device that moves around so many different locations in your possession, ensuring that it is completely protected can guarantee that no hacker can access and view private and confidential pieces of information
3. Cut down on cloud technology
The vast majority of retailers offering IoT devices to consumers also offer free cloud storage with their products. This is a popular form of storage that has emerged alongside the growing volume of big data seen over the past few years.
While it may be used by many, the resource of cloud storage does come with its drawbacks. The data inside the cloud can only be accessed if there is an internet connection, limiting its accessibility. Also, it isn’t hard for outsiders to log into the cloud network through the internet connection used. As a user is logging in to their account, their information is being quickly taken by an outsider.
So be sure to limit how much you use the cloud and the information stored on it. Logging in only when needed and storing sensitive data elsewhere reduces the chances of information being stolen.
4. Regularly change passwords
It is important to be diligent with all passwords on devices. Passwords should be unique and next to impossible to guess, particularly with those that are IoT connective. As well as this, it should be addressed that passwords must be changed at least twice a year. This way, anyone who may have wind of the code won’t be able to do anything with it.
This is vital with smart connecting devices as they all can be attached to one another, meaning they can each be broken into by an outsider. However, if each has a different personal password, it will be much harder for anyone to hack into them individually to get access to personal information.
Be in no doubt that the use of IoT devices at home holds huge benefits. With a more efficient working and living environment, they provide any needed information right at the fingertips of the homeowner.
In having the ability to control central heating, lighting, or the television, smart devices are put in place to take charge of every home detail. However, while they may bring a lot of joy to the home, they also come with their risks. The chance of personal information being taken by outsiders is not something that should be overlooked.
Because of this, be sure to follow the steps above and ensure that the devices are set up to the point of being near impossible to touch without the correct information. Securing IoT devices at home, with passwords changed regularly, VPN, and unique names can be the difference between a secure and a hacked home.
Oliver Griffiths has a passion for film, video games, and technology. He can be found at Tillison Consulting running a number of clients’ digital marketing campaigns across all sectors and platforms.
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