Smart Home Security Tips

12 Tips to Secure Your Smart Home Devices

1. Give your router a name.

Don’t stick with the name the manufacturer gave it — it could Identify the Make and Model giving hackers something to look for. Give it an unusual name not associated with you or your street address. You don’t want to give hackers any tips on which house / home or buisness and where it is located.

2. Use a strong encryption method for Wi-Fi.

In your router settings, it’s a good idea to use a strong encryption method, like WPA2, when you set up Wi-Fi network access. This will help keep your network and communications secure.

3. Set up a WIFI guest network in addition to your main WIFI

Keep your main Wi-Fi account private. Visitors, friends and relatives can log into a separate network that doesn’t tie into your IoT devices or your NAS (Network Attached Storage).

4. Change default usernames and passwords.

Potential Hackers know the default usernames and password that comes with various Routers and IoT products. That makes it easy for them to hack into your IoT devices. Are you considering a device that doesn’t allow you to change the default password? Then consider a different one.

5. Use strong, unique passwords for Wi-Fi networks.

Avoid common words or passwords that are easy to guess, such as “password” or “123456.” Instead, use unique, complex passwords made up of letters, numbers, and symbols. You might also consider a password manager such as KeePass. Changing your passwords at regular intervals and not using the same password for every account is important. Especiallyt Keep your Banking and Financial Passwords separate.

6. Check the setting for your devices.

Your IoT devices might come with default privacy and security settings. You might want to consider changing them, as some default settings could benefit the manufacturer more than they benefit you.

7. Disable features you may not need.

IoT devices come with a variety of services such as remote access, often enabled by default. If you don’t need it, be sure to disable it.

8. Keep your firmware up to date.

When your smart phone manufacturer sends you a software update, don’t put off installing it. It might be a patch for a security flaw. Mobile security is important, since you may connect to your smart home through mobile devices. Your IoT device makers also may sent you updates — or you might have to visit their websites to check for them. Be sure to download updates and apply them to your device to help stay safe and protected.

9. Audit the IoT devices already on your home network.

Periodically check for IoT devices. Google the Internet for the latest secuity threats of all of your devices. You may even want to upgrade to newer models that offer stronger security and better protection.

10. Two-Step Authentication.

We’re talking authentication. Two-factor authentication — such as a one-time code sent to your cellphone — can keep the bad guys out of your accounts. If your smart-device apps offer two-factor authentication, or 2FA, use it.

11. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks.

You might want to manage your IoT devices through your mobile device in a coffee shop across town. If you’re on public Wi-Fi — generally not a good idea — use a VPN. For instance, Norton Secure VPN offers a number of privacy and security features for both public and home Wi-Fi.

12. Watch out for outages.

Ensure that a hardware outage does not result in an unsecure state for the device.

No doubt more IoT devices are coming and will angle for a place in your home. If they make your life more convenient — even happier — great. But don’t forget to secure your increasingly smart home and your IoT devices.

Posted in Network Security Tips on Oct 14, 2019