As we’re coming out of lockdown and looking at getting back to normal, it’s not only Honest-Johns who will be coming out of their lockdown bubbles, blinking and squinting in the sunlight. No, hackers will have been researching, plotting, planning and putting their enforced free time to nefarious use, learning the most effective, efficient and undetectable ways to bypass weak security and gain access to your Smart Home Environment.
Naturally there are ways to keep yourself safe and secure, but you need to go above and beyond the built in and factory default settings on your Smart Home Devices if you’re going to achieve any real security. Changes to the laws manufacturers have to abide by when it comes to default settings, two stage authentication, and passwords are in the pipeline, but there are at least ten ways to secure your devices today which will add heft to your home network security.
Set Secure Passwords.
In every event, whenever you’re installing a new piece of Smart Home Technology, from Smart Security Cameras to Smart Speakers or even Smart enabled children’s toys, change the passwords! Always use long, strong, secure passwords which include letters, numbers, and special characters.
As well as securing all your Smart Devices, ensure that your broadband router is password protected too. This not only prevents your neighbours from stealing your data, using your broadband to access illegal or dangerous websites, it prevents them from possibly accessing your entire home network, including computers and mobile phones which you use for banking, legal, or personal business.
Buy A Better Router
The router which comes free with your broadband subscription is unlikely to be the best modem on the market. In order to get the advertised data speeds and better built in security features, you’re going to have to shop around. And, if you want to get the best wifi signal to all of your devices you’re going to be interested in extenders such as mesh networks for indoors and Point to Point extenders outdoors which can ensure full high speed broadband in your garden, workshop, pool-house, home office and barns, garages and outbuildings.
Invest In The Best
Buying inferior quality equipment is always a false economy, and if you’re spending money on Smart Home Security, Smart Access Control or Smart Home Entertainment, in makes much more sense to buy equipment you’re going to be able to love living with than cheaper alternatives which won’t integrate with your current Smart ecosystem, will break down, and won’t come with the necessary security features which will keep your Smart Home Environment secure.
Prepare A PIN
One of the great things about voice controlled systems is their ease of use. However, that ease of use when it comes to shopping means that if your devices aren’t protected, anyone can shop buy talking to your Smart Assistant and buying whatever they want. Applying a PIN is a simple operation which will prevent anyone who doesn’t know the code from buying things on your account.
Keep Your Passwords Private
Naturally you shouldn’t share your passwords with anyone, but there is always a reason why you have to let someone, such as a house-guest or dog-sitter know passwords or codes. If you have to let someone else into your home network ensure you only give them the limited access they require, if you have to share a password, don’t use email, text, WhatsApp or Messenger, and once they no longer need to have access to your Smart Home, change the codes they used to another long, strong, complex password.
Change Your Passwords Regularly
It’s a faff, it’s inconvenient, it’s boring, but you should be changing your passwords regularly anyway. Ideally it’s best if you don’t change them yourself as you’ll need to write the new codes down somewhere and that really negates the point of password security! Instead use a password manager which can produce strings of letters and numbers of impossible complexity and store them securely.
Don’t Share Your Data
Much has been made lately about personal data and the power it gives companies who harvest it. Unfortunately they either sell it, it gets hacked, or used against you in some other way, so always ensure that you know exactly where your data is going when you introduce a new Smart Device to your Smart Ecosystem, and if there’s no logical reason why a service provider needs to know your details, deny access.
Update Your Security Updates
Most manufacturers will distribute software updates which you will need to download and update your Smart Devices with. If you’re a Microsoft user you’ll be familiar with being informed there’s a software update waiting for you, you install it and can’t use your computer again for hours while it seems to reformat your entire operating system. It’s annoying, but it’s also important as the developers have identified necessary improvements to the system and security protocols. The same is true for Smart Home software updates, so install them when they become available.
Keep An Eye On Your Phone
Most Smart Home Environments can be controlled entirely by your phone or tablet. This is incredibly convenient, but it’s a huge security risk if your mobile device is lost or stolen. In case that ever happens it’s a good idea to have a strong password on your laptop or tablet, and make sure nobody knows your phone’s swipe pattern if you’re not using fingerprint or facial recognition to secure that. Also, be aware how to disable your stolen devices and ensure they’re locked out of your Smart Home Network.
Get professional Advice and Installation From Experts In The Field
If you’ve been to a friend’s house and seen their Smart Home in action, and thought “That’s the kind of tech for me!” but don’t know where to begin, it makes sense to call in expert advice. Not only will you be sure of getting the devices you need, installed and connected with one another seamlessly, you’ll also get help and customer service support when you don’t understand how something works, or you lock yourself out by mistake!
Briant Communications have years of experience installing Smart Home Security Systems, Access Control, Environmental Controls, Smart Home Entertainment, routers, and wireless extenders. Call us on 01273 465377 or email us at email@example.com to book a free, no obligation visit from one of our trusted engineers.