With the exciting security gadgets like smartphone-controlled locks, cameras, and video doorbells, it’s understandable that many will start home automation projects with security in mind. However, there are a few must-do steps needed to fully secure your smart home beyond just installing a smart device.
If overlooked – and they usually are – these security steps leave the devices you trust your home to vulnerable to tampering.
Here are four quick and simple tips on how to have a secure smart home:
1. Be sure to buy from reputable brands
While lesser known brands may have interesting product offerings, it’s always best to purchase devices from more established brands. Remain wary about the size of the company your smart products are coming from, as bigger brands have been subjected to more tests about bandwidth and security.
2. Make sure to use complex passwords
President Obama joked that we’re making things too easy for hackers when we use “passwords like, ‘password’ or ‘123457,’” but his joke might have been right, as “one-third of Americans” use the same password for every account. Be sure not to use the default or factory-set passwords on your devices. Instead, use a password that is longer or more complex, and be sure to regularly change your passwords. Practicing good password management is one of the simplest ways you can ensure a secure smart home.
3. Secure your Wi-Fi Network
Try to avoid using home addresses or other identifying personal information in your SSIDs (just a technical term for your network name). Also, be strict about who can access your guest network. Some guest networks lack the encryption of the main network on your router, so if you can, be sure to put a strong password on any guest networks. If your router can support multiple SSIDs, we suggest creating two Wi-Fi networks – one specifically for your computers and phones and one for your smart home devices.
4. Install security updates as soon as they are released
Software updates typically consist of bug fixes or new features, but some include security updates that will protect your devices by patching any vulnerabilities.