Keeping smart home devices secure

Fredericka Smead

Smart home devices are electronic devices linked to other networks or devices through wireless platforms such as Bluetooth, WI-Fi, ZigBee communication and other protocols. They intend to provide a sense of security and comfort to the device bearers. These devices are controlled from a central app hence making them vulnerable […]

Smart home devices are electronic devices linked to other networks or devices through wireless platforms such as Bluetooth, WI-Fi, ZigBee communication and other protocols. They intend to provide a sense of security and comfort to the device bearers. These devices are controlled from a central app hence making them vulnerable to hackers and malware. Majority of these devices carry identifiable information, so their security and safety must be kept at its topmost. Below are tips that help ensure smart home devices’ safety, thereby reducing their vulnerability to security breaches.

Take your passwords seriously.

Passwords may seem old fashioned, but they play a crucial role in protecting the high tech devices in our homes. Always have a strong password for your devices and do not use the password elsewhere. When setting up passwords, ensure you use unique characters with a mixture of numbers and letters that are hard to guess. You can also create platforms like password manager, which will help you remember your passwords conveniently. Changing the username and passwords once in a while stops potential hackers from being able to guess the password of the smart home device or the network you are connected to.

Ensure you secure your Wi-Fi network.

Most routers use model names that can easily be identified, increasing the risk of privacy invasion. To effectively deal with this, it is advisable to buy a router from a reputable brand or a well-known company and then change the default password as per the manufacturer’s instruction. You can also have a distinct network for your smart home devices having its own name and password. This becomes useful as it keeps your devices in a more secure separate network that visitors and strangers can’t access. In case the router you are using does not offer the needed security features, you can always change to a better one.

 

Keep your devices updated.

Most companies roll out software updates that address security issues and new features over the internet. Some devices automatically update when connected to Wi-Fi networks while others have to be manually updated to get the latest version of these software and security patches. It is not advisable to run your devices on old firmware as this would make it easier for hackers to exploit unpatched software, running malicious codes that could put the security of your system at stake. It is recommended that you always go for devices that update automatically, this will help ensure that they are always up-to-date security-wise.

Prioritize professional installation.

The safety of smart home device also depends on how they are installed and integrated. This is done to ensure everything is set up correctly on the first time and works well. A well-installed and setup system is one that leaves room for the incorporation of future products and updates. When issues arise on the systems, ensure you only involve professionals to work on it. Go for manufactures that offer support beyond the installation. For example, they should notify when updates are available and fix problems when they arise. Looking at online reviews will help you identify such reputable companies. You can always look at a list of electronic stores reviews and Coolshop UK reviews.

Reset devices before getting rid of them.

You might want to dispose of or give away your old devices or smart electronics. Today device manufactures always give instructions on how to reset or dispose of such devices. Make sure that all the data in the devices are erased when giving away your devices. If you go for disposing them off ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines of disposal. The method you use to dispose of them should always be environmentally friendly.

Ensure you turn off the universal plug and play.

Several smart home devices are capable of finding other smart devices and connect to them automatically. This capability makes them vulnerable by allowing attackers and hackers to access multiple devices from a single point. You have to ensure that the UPnP protocol is always turned off as this protocol is weak to attacks, turning it off-limits data sharing possibilities between devices.

In conclusion, smart home devices’ vulnerability to security breaches would be significantly reduced with these tips, thereby giving maximum efficiency and comfort. To ensure you get the best systems for your home, check the various smart home devices available in the market, their features, including their intelligence, security capabilities, among others. If you follow the above tips, you will ensure a safe home smart device experience.