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We don’t take anything seriously until we are affected by it in some way.  You don’t need to face a cybercrime to take the security of your smart appliances seriously. The age-old proverb ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is applicable even when we talk about digital crimes. We are presenting you with 8 ways that can make your home smarter and more secure. 

“Hey Siri, make my home secure!”

Just like wearing a seat-belt while riding a car or wearing a helmet while riding a bike, you must take certain security measures to make sure your IoT devices are safe from cyber-attacks. 

It is not as easy as it sounds. IoT security is risky. As you install new cool gadgets to make your house smarter and more efficient, you also make your home more vulnerable to hackers. Security can not be an afterthought, in fact, it should be an integral part while installing, using and even uninstalling an IoT device in your house. 

IoT products can be notorious as they give the hackers a new way to attack and steal your data. Cybercrimes are not limited to identity thefts, monetary frauds, stolen bank details. Things have gone worse and if someone hacks into your smart device they may be able to access many personal details leading to terrible damages. 

Since IoT is a growing software and mobile app development trend security is more important than ever as their popularity is at an all-time high and will keep increasing. Here’s how.

Some Important IoT Statistics and Facts

  • In 2020, the market size for the industrial Internet of Things is estimated to reach some 77.3 billion U.S. dollars.
  • The global spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to reach 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. 
  • New technologies such as 5G are expected to drive market growth in the coming years.
  • The total installed base of the Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is projected to amount to 21.5 billion units worldwide by 2025.

8 Tips to Shield your Home IoT Network from Hackers 

  1. Secure router 

You must buy a router from a recognized and reputable company. Your router is one of the most vulnerable points in the network which hackers can attack easily. This is because they have little or no built-in security.

So, the first step is to let go of the name the manufacturer gave it. Many hackers may identify the make or model by the name. The best way to secure your router is to give it an unusual name. 

Make sure that the name you keep is not associated with you or your street address. Random names with numbers in them can confuse hackers and won’t give away any personal identifiers.

  1. Secure network

Whenever you set up WiFi network access in your router settings, it is best to use a strong encryption method like WPA2. Your communications and network become safer by doing this. 

Many routers have an option to create multiple networks, with a different name and password for each network. You may also create a second Wi-Fi network specifically for your smart home appliances. 

This way, if you use one network for the IoT devices and a hacker hacks it, your sensitive data like bank details are not vulnerable. This is because this data is stored on another network, segregated from the second network.

Apart from this, you may also create a separate network for visitors, friends and relatives. This separate network doesn’t tie into your IoT devices keeping them safer.

  1. Unique usernames and passwords

This goes without saying. You must change the default usernames and passwords that come with most IoT products. This is because cybercriminals know most of the generic passwords that companies keep. They can easily access such IoT devices and get your data. 

While changing the password make sure these passwords are not easy to guess or common like “abc123”. It is also suggested that you don’t keep your birthdate or other easy detectable dates as your password. It’s better if you keep a unique password that you can remember but people wouldn’t guess. 

  1. Settings and features of your device

You should change default privacy and security settings that come with IoT devices. For instance, the remote access feature is enabled by default. If you don’t need it you must disable it. 

  1. Update and upgrade

Constantly updating your smartphone and IoT devices software is a must to keep your devices secure. Most updates include security patches that you can not miss. You may even check IoT device’s websites to check and install new updates. 

We will also suggest you to timely upgrade your devices as newer models come with stronger security. 

  1. Installing security software

You may also install reputable internet security software on your computers, tablets, and smartphones. Such software if provides real-time protection against existing and emerging malware, is a preferred option. 

  1. Research

This step must not be ignored when it comes to IoT security. You must research everything you can about the device before you buy it. These devices collect a lot of data in order to function. 

This is alright if you are completely aware of the policies and protections regarding data breaches.  You must know what data is being collected and how is being used. If you find any setting that is too risky or unnecessary, you must deny it. 

  1. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks

We will advise you against using public and open WiFi networks for accessing your IoT devices remotely. If you do, it is best to never leave your smartphone unattended. 

Further, if you are on public WiFi, use a VPN that helps to secure the data transmitted on public Wi-Fi. In fact, you may also use it while using your home WiFi. You must also turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth access if you don’t need them as they automatically connect nearby devices without taking permission. 

What we Learned

As our homes are getting smarter, they are also becoming more vulnerable. The answer doesn’t lay in becoming regressive but actually making progressive steps to enhance security using technology and smartness. If you follow these simple steps, you’re sure to enjoy your smart home devices without any fear of losing data. 

Sourodip Biswas works at Space-O Technologies, a company having expertise in custom software and mobile app development. He believes knowledge is a treasure that follows its owner everywhere. His writings have been published on many distinguished websites across the web.

Home security stock photo by TierneyMJ/Shutterstock