Nowadays, many people have a lot of smart home devices in their homes. Maybe you have a lot of questions about smart home devices. So, how safe is a smart home? Have smart home devices been hacked? Is anyone peeking at our surveillance footage? Can hackers control devices like smart plugs or even smart door locks?
In fact, the risk of smart home devices being hacked is not big, because of the regular updates of smart home devices, smart platforms are becoming more and more secure, but smart devices are online, online devices may have some vulnerabilities, when it comes to Wi-Fi Even more so when it comes to the network and its settings. Let’s take a look at how to protect your smart home from hackers.
Can smart homes be hacked?
Smart devices communicate through their own protocols, such as ZigBee and Wi-Fi networks. Unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be monitored by hackers, which means that information a smart device is sending to apps and other devices could be intercepted.
On its own, this information may not be particularly dangerous, although it may include security camera video and more. Some hackers may even find a way to take control of smart devices by using the correct account information and brute-forcing weak passwords.
That being said, hacked smart homes are pretty rare. Hackers need to be close to a Wi-Fi network and need the right technology to break in, which is usually impossible, but public Wi-Fi networks with a lot of people are often more attractive targets. While there are a number of articles that might try to raise concerns, it turns out that the smart home is unlikely to be a target for hackers right now. In fact, most hacking dangers from smart homes come from completely different sources, either employees of security monitoring companies or hacked databases.
How to Secure Smart Home Devices
Fortunately, we have an excellent tool for securing all smart home devices, and that is the Wi-Fi router itself. Today’s routers often come with built-in security features. This usually includes a firewall that we can enable to simply protect all devices.
Step 1: Check whether the router has a firewall. Again, this is a common setup option, so many modern routers have them, but if there is an older router or a cheap model, it may not have any firewall capabilities. When you start adding smart devices to your home, you can upgrade your router to one with firewall capabilities, at least two Wi-Fi bands, and the ability to create a customer network, or you can search for a model number or menu to find out how your router performs.
Step 2: Assume that you are sure that your router has a firewall option. You can open the router app and log in your account information. Most routers these days have software controls, but some still require entering the router’s IP address or similar in a browser, followed by the router’s serial number to log in. If you don’t see an option in the router app, you can try the online method.
Step 3: Look for the “Security” option. Sometimes we may need to look at the advanced settings menu or look for a specific option to display the firewall. And we can find the firewall feature in the subscription service, enable it when locating the firewall and choose its strength according to our needs.
Step 4: If there aren’t any obvious firewall settings to enable, we can create a setting ourselves that completely bans new devices, go to advanced settings, find the security section, and then go to access control, this can block all new devices from connecting, and also prevent Hacked, but every time you want to add a new device or a friend wants to connect to wifi, you need to disable this setting.
We may also select specific websites or services to block. This allows us to create our own target firewall. While this is good for securing a specific device or connection, it’s not very effective at preventing hacking and can quickly get into the hassle of choosing an individual type of service.
Step 5: Be aware that router firewalls can sometimes cause issues with smart devices. For example, some services or third-party functions of the voice assistant may be compromised. If you lose the functionality you want, try disabling the firewall and see if they come back.
Other Ways to Secure Your Smart Home
- Always keep your smart devices, app software and router firmware updated to the latest version. Updates usually include security improvements and bug fixes. If you haven’t already, consider upgrading to a router that supports Wi-Fi-6 and WP3 encryption. These include more advanced security measures that will make smart homes harder to penetrate, even without firewalls.
- Choose a strong password. It should have symbols, numbers and letters in different case. An easy option is to use a password manager that automatically generates complex and hard-to-crack passwords.
If possible, enable two-factor authentication. This is a nice feature to prevent hacking, as authentication is required when a new device tries to connect to the device, which hackers cannot do.
- If you want to go the extra mile, you can create a separate guest network and assign all your smart devices to that network, leaving the main network for phones, computers, TVs, etc. This makes it more difficult to obtain sensitive ID or account information by hacking into smart devices.
- Regularly check the devices connected to your router. Look for any suspicious devices or connections you don’t recognize from your own devices or those you’re using, and take steps to remove them.
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