Smart devices for sure are getting more popular around the globe. However, the dissemination of new technologies always goes hand in hand with new challenges. And these, in turn, most often relate to guaranteeing the safety of its users.
Sadly, safety is usually not a priority for the creators of smart technology. It is often much more important to introduce the product to the market quickly and attract as many customers as possible. This, in turn, significantly facilitates the task of cybercriminals for whom entering the user’s home network opens the door to a place full of interesting data.
One of the most disruptive attacks on household security systems is attacks performed by hackers. Hackers are able to break into the network, e.g., via security camera systems, and thus not only control the lives of the inhabitants of a given house but also communicate with them and gain access to other devices connected to the internet, including air conditioning, audio equipment, TV sets, refrigerators, and even social media logins and passwords.
Another danger is associated with devices that help in everyday life that can be controlled via a smartphone – sprinklers, lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, ovens, etc. They can also become the gateway to access more data.
Fortunately, users of smart devices can protect themselves against attacks by cybercriminals with a few simple solutions:
Do everything in your power to prevent hackers from spying on your network and all your activities. The best option is VPN protection, which will ensure that your IP is private and all visited pages and transmitted data are properly encrypted.
Start by securing your Wi-Fi with a very strong password (avoid passwords associated with family names, short passwords “123” or “admin”), then install a trusted VPN program to make sure it becomes virtually impossible to spy on your network. Don’t forget other devices too. For example, if you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick, don’t forget a VPN on the Firestick as well. Then, rename your network in such a way that it is difficult to locate and does not give you any clue as to the network password. Make sure your router uses a secure encryption method such as WPA2.
Privacy protection is priceless, so don’t hesitate to pay a little extra for your smart devices if you can be sure they come from a reputable manufacturer. Check if the company you selected has already had security and privacy breaches and what reputation it has among users. A big advantage is the ability to control the obtained data and the option to delete them at any time.
This step may take a bit more effort, but knowing who and how is keeping your data is necessary. Smart devices are bombs filled with data – from the tone of your voice to health indicators, sleep trends, logins, PINs, periods outside the home, or user preferences. To protect your online safety better, you should not use applications that collect too much data and do not adequately protect it.
The software of smart devices requires regular updates. This is the only way to guard against potential bugs or security vulnerabilities and ensure that the current version is the safest available. If updates are not made automatically, it is worth visiting the manufacturer’s website from time to time to find out if a new, better version is available – especially for mobile applications.
For all smart devices, you can create a second network within your own Wi-Fi network, the so-called guest network. This network can separate smart devices from homeowners’ smartphones and computers. If hackers attack a smart device, they will not be able to access data stored on private devices in any way.
Two-factor authentication allows for additional confirmation of, e.g., a login or a financial transaction on another device. You may be required to enter an additional password or sign in with your fingerprint to the mobile application. Thanks to this procedure, cybercriminals will not be able to log into a given account without access to more data.
Smart devices have a positive effect on the convenience of all household residents. Connecting multiple devices to the network often gives unlimited possibilities. But the risks go hand in hand with pleasure. Cybercriminals who succeed in penetrating the internal network can capture a lot of sensitive data and financial information and cause a lot of damage. It is worth understanding the risks associated with smart devices and using the above-mentioned tips to combat the risks and all dangers.