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💎 IMPORTANCE OF CYBERSECURITY. 10 TIPS TO PROTECT A SMART HOME

Today the trend is to turn houses into smart homes, hence the importance of cyber security. Thanks to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), the number of smart devices that connect individually or to each other is increasing every day.

We can find everything from smart plugs, locks, security cameras, thermostats, televisions, audio and video systems, to LED lights, coffee makers, refrigerators and more. But cyber security in smart homes has become a perplexing problem, with a wide range of privacy violations and data theft occurring in the last eighteen months.

This has raised the question of how safe are smart homes? And the answer is that they probably aren’t as safe as you might think. In this article, we will discuss some cyber security tips for smart homes.

By early 2020, an estimated 14.2 billion Internet-connected smart devices (IoTs) will exist and be in use. And that by 2021 this number will increase to 25 billion devicesAs we move into the future with all these smart devices connected to the network, we must accept the benefits and prepare to face the risks

That’s why cyber security is so important for protecting smart homes. Unlike «standard» hacking, overriding IoT devices could cause physical damage and endanger your life. Not only that, but IoT hackers can also expose your personal data.

What could be at Risk and How?

When you make the decision to turn your home into a smart home, you think primarily of the comfort, convenience and peace of mind that smart devices offer you – and all from your mobile phone, tablet, PC or control centre, remotely connected to the internet and WiFi.

You don’t have to consider that by having your smart home connected to a router you may be at risk of a malicious cyber attack. Smart TVs are some of the devices that can become a cyber security risk that you may not even have thought of.

They can be used to seriously invade your privacy, if they have front cameras, hackers can use the camera to record and watch everything you do in the room. They can get a live streaming video of all your movements within the room where the TV is located, which can lead to some major crimes.

Importance of Cybersecurity, 10 Tips

It is statistically proven that you can be hacked in less than 5 minutes, after installing a new smart home device. 

Follow these tips to stay as safe and secure as possible:

Give your router a name

The first cybersecurity tip to keep you safe is to change the name of your router or router, put an unusual one on it that is not associated with your personal data or address, do not leave the one assigned by the manufacturer, this could identify model or brand.

Set up a WiFi network for guests

Create a Wi-Fi network for guests. This way guests who connect to your Internet network will not have access to all your settings, especially if they are curious and tech-savvy teens.

Create separate network identities or SSIDs, to perform tasks that need extra security, for example; create a network for internet banking, another for management of connected smart devices and an additional one for regular browsing. This measure will reduce the risk of plagiarism of important information.

Do your research before buying a smart home device

It can be a real challenge to define whether the device you plan to invest in is truly secure against cyber attacks. When you search the Internet for a smart device, the list is endless and you won’t know where to start.

Don’t buy the first thing you find, find out if the manufacturer was involved in any security incidents and how they dealt with the problem.

Some of the questions you can ask yourself and look for answers are:

  • Have they really implemented any safety measures?
  • Does the manufacturer mention anything about security on their website?
  • Do they allow you to update their devices or provide automatic patches?

Change default usernames and passwords

When you buy a smart device, you proceed to change the manufacturer’s default password if you bring it with you, since cybercriminals probably already know it. And if it doesn’t come from the manufacturer, create one. If the device doesn’t allow you to change the default password, consider purchasing another device.

Adopt two-factor authentication

To verify your ID on some devices, we recommend using two authentication factors, although it may be a hassle, it could protect you from a cyber attack.

After you log in with a username and password you will be asked for a second security element, this could be a 6 or 8 digit code, which of course would be difficult for a hacker to decipher. Always prioritize your security, rather than logging in easily and quickly!

Keep your software up to date

The security of your smartphone is essential, because through it, you can connect to your smart home.

Always make sure you keep its software updated; don’t delay its installation, both the mobile manufacturer’s software (because it can be a security patch) and those sent by IoT device manufacturers. These updates can help keep you safe.

Use biometric authentication when available

The biometric authentication features provide increased security for your devices. Fingerprint recognition eliminates any possibility of hacking or tampering, unfortunately not all devices have this feature, for now! The recommendation is to use state-of-the-art smartphones that have fingerprint recognition.

Avoid public WiFi networks

Avoid connecting from your mobile, tablet or PC to public WiFi networks. Many times we find ourselves in the need to manage some IoT device from your mobile in a restaurant or cafe, this is not a good idea, since you can be vulnerable to any cyber attack.

We recommend using a VPN. Norton Secure VPN offers a number of privacy and security features for public and home WiFi.

Importance of Cybersecurity: Secure your network completely

Your router comes configured with the WEP security protocol which is the most common, increase security by changing the configuration to WPQ2 protocol, these small security changes could mean the difference.

Upgrade your router

Until mid-2018, a malware or hostile software called VPNFilter infected an estimated 500,000 routers worldwide, stealing data and passwords.

Periodically restore your router as a security system

Norton, for example, offers free, online tools to check your router for hostile software. If you have an older router, we recommend upgrading it. To keep the risk of system breaches to a minimum.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that any device connected to the Internet is a possible gateway for cyberpirates seeking to steal and obtain important data for the purpose of fraud, they will not miss the opportunity to interfere with your devices if you give them the chance to do so.

That’s why it’s crucial that IoT manufacturers and consumers do everything possible to stay informed about both the threats and how to stay safe from potential attacks by cyberpirates. Remember the importance of cyber security and we hope these tips will help you protect and keep your smart home safe.

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Importance of Cybersecurity. 10 Tips to Protect a Smart Home
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Importance of Cybersecurity. 10 Tips to Protect a Smart Home
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Cyber security is so important for protecting smart homes. Unlike "standard" hacking, overriding IoT devices could cause physical damage and endanger your life
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