Believe it or not, most of us are living in the era of the smart home. Not convinced? Then consider how many devices you currently own. Your phone, computer, games console, tablet, TV, speaker… And these are just the most common items most of us have that are communicating via our home internet connection.
But our penchant for convenience is entering new realms. Smart fridges, cameras, alarm systems, locks, lights, baby and pet monitors, plugs, thermostats…. The list is enormous and is growing exponentially.
However, this phenomenon has led to a new consideration that we all must address – that of smart security. While we’re keen to embrace the brave new world on offer through smart devices, many of us don’t realise that their use brings with it the need to take extra steps to ensure our homes are secure.
So let’s look at this in more depth and shed some light on some of the most commonly asked questions regarding smart home security.
What is the Threat?
By far the biggest threat regarding smart homes and the use of smart devices is that many users aren’t even aware that a hazard exists. As more and more devices hit the market and are introduced into our homes we become increasingly reliant on these all communicating to each other via our internet connection.
The issue with this is that much of it isn’t encrypted, providing cyber-criminals with a potential entry point into our homes.
The key point to understand is that these hackers probably aren’t interested in you individually, or even the particular device they gain entry to. Their ulterior motive is to exploit the infrastructure that it allows them to access.
Let’s break down what this actually means with a scenario.
- A hacker targets your games console
- This then allows them to break into and explore other smart devices within the home
- Some of these have unencrypted information, which the criminal can steal.
- This is carried out on a large scale, with all the information being collated. In today’s connected online world this is a valuable tool that can be exploited in many different ways.
This, naturally, can have far-reaching negative effects. In addition, when it comes to home security, it could mean losing control over devices or your personal information being leaked online.
What Security Steps Should I Take?
While this all sounds very scary there are active steps you can take to make your smart home and devices as secure as possible.
- Create strong, unique passwords: Never re-use passwords, make sure they’re long enough and don’t contain any information that’s easy to guess. For example, don’t use pet names, children’s names, memorable dates, common words etc.
- Install updates in a timely manner: These usually contain patches to counter any known security risks. While most of us know this, we’re still guilty of not performing regular updates. This is one of the most common ways that hackers gain entry to devices and systems.
- Don’t click on links: Whether they come via email, on your TV, SMS or any other manner, make it a life rule not to click on them. If something looks legitimate then go into the company website to check – that way you won’t unwittingly be fooled and play directly into a hacker’s hands…
- Make sure apps are genuine: Hackers go to great lengths to fool us, including the creation of realistic apps and websites that we interact with. They even set up web chat features where we can be coerced into sharing information, such as passwords, that can then be used to gain access to our smart home devices.
- Pause internal cameras when not in use: Such as those on pet and baby monitors.
- Be aware that you DO live in a smart home: Many of us think that our homes aren’t considered ‘smart’, so this advice doesn’t apply. However, as soon as you introduce a smart phone, TV, alarm, computer etc into the mix then be aware that your home is, indeed, smart, because the device/s are communicating via your personal home network.
Take Advice From an Expert Source Regarding Smart Devices and Smart Installations
The ultimate way to ensure your home is secure is to consult the experts. Perth-based Crown Security are a leading supplier in WA and will be happy to advise on all elements of securing your smart home and devices. They’re also experts in the installation of high-quality alarm systems, CCTV, smart wiring and a wide range of smart home items to up the ante in home convenience.
Give our friendly team a call on 08 9400 6000 for a no-obligation chat or contact us for more information.
- Posted by admin
- On 20/06/2020