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Be Smart With Smart Devices

Jackie here. Is your home smart? I spotted an alarming article on Yahoo about the potential vulnerabilities in smart homes. A majority of smart devices are hackable (one study found 7 out of 10 devices had some sort of vulnerability). While the threat isn’t big for now, it is likely that as smart homes – homes with smart devices that are increasingly connect to the internet and each other – become more common, hackings will become more common. What can you do?
Secure Your Router
The biggest thing you can do to protect your home is secure your router. This is the most common way that thieves gain access to home networks. The router basically acts as the door to your network and it’s a lot easier to walk through the door than crawl through a window. Securing this one point can greatly increase the security of your home network, even if you change nothing else.
Change Default Log-ins– When you set up your router make sure you change the default username and password. Since these credentials are typically the same on similar devices, they are very easy to crack. Choose a unique username and password combination. Consider enabling the guest function as well so visitors to your home can use your router without access to your primary password. Make sure your administrator password and your Wi-Fi password are different.
Use WPA2– Most new routers are automatically configured to use WPA2, but be sure to check your router to confirm. This function encrypts data going in and out of your router and leads to enhanced security of the personal information you transmit over the router.
Stay on Top of Updates– Update, update, update. Vulnerabilities happen from time to time and updates are the best way to ensure your device is protected. As problems are discovered, updates to the firmware are created to correct them. Failing to update your firmware can leave your network very unsecure.
Consider a Second Network– Some people choose to use two networks: one for their computers and one for their smart devices. This ensures that should your smart devices be compromised, your more valuable information stays secure.
Smart devices are the way of the future. Learning how to use them wisely and increasing your knowledge about smart device security is essential to keeping your personal information secure.

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