IoT devices are changing how we live and how we spend time in our homes. Not long ago a simple remote control was a major technological achievement, but today we are living in a world where Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and therefore smart home technology, are becoming more and more important.
The smart home market is expected to be worth over $140 billion in 2023, with a nearly 20% increase in sales every year.
Put simply, the market for smart home technology is exploding. And the probability that you already own an IoT device or will soon buy one is very high.
However, we are still in the early days of IoT, with a rapidly changing market driving new technology with ever increasing demands. And one of the biggest questions is security.
Perhaps you are ready to make the jump with your first smart home device, and are wondering: How safe is smart home? Can it easily be hacked? And what other things should I do to protect myself?
Here are the 6 best tips to keep your smart home hack-free. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
6 Best Tips
1. Use a guest network
Set up your smart home network away from your other devices by using a guest network. This means, if your smart home appliance is hacked, it be a part of a separate network, away from your private email and or banking information.
If your existing router doesn’t offer you good security features (such as the possibility of setting up a second network for your smart home devices), you should replace it as a matter of urgency. Your router is the front door for hackers into your systems. It is well worth the investment!
2. Choose your smart home devices carefully
Make sure you are buying your smart home devices from reputable manufacturers that use only the highest standards when it comes to security and data protection.
Livy Protect uses the IoT protocol MQTT and we keep all our communication up to the highest security standards by using multiple encryptions. The Livy Smart Ring is capable of firmware updates and is updated at regular intervals.
Further information on data security can be found in the Livy App in the data protection notes.
3. Change default user names
Change your default usernames on your phones and especially your router. This can be an easy entrance door for hackers, which look for default usernames to slip into the system.
Changing the default name of your router, smartphone, or any other similar device can stop hackers from guessing which device or network you are connected to, making it harder for them to find your location.
4. Use strong passwords
Just like you wouldn’t lock your fancy bike with a cheap lock, you should not choose your internet passwords too easily. Aim to change your passwords a couple of times a year to keep hackers away.
Extra Tip: Do you know password managers like Dashlane, KeePassX, or LastPass? There are many cheap and very effective password managers on the market, many of which will not only save your passwords in one place and encrypt them, but can also create secure passwords for you. Therefore, all of your passwords are in one place, and are easy to change and swap out from time to time.
5. Use a VPN for public Wi-Fi
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when signing onto public WiFi, or better yet, try to avoid public WiFi completely. For quick actions like turning on your heater or switching off your lights, try using your cellular data instead.
If you need more bandwidth, for example if you want to get a live feed from your security cameras, use a VPN to log in and prevent hackers from intercepting your data.
6. Update your apps and devices (firmware) frequently
Have you activated the automatic update of your app and devices? Many firmware and software updates can be done automatically, directly from the manufacturer, but make sure to check your app on a regular basis and always keep it up to date.
Apps and devices that are not updated on a frequent basis are an open door for hackers. Often new updates contain the latest security measures and patch up security holes, so anything that isn’t completely up-to-date is like an open invitation for a hacker.
If you stop using a device, remember to disconnect it from your network so a hacker cannot use it as a back door into your system. Or if you get a new smartphone, make sure to remove the smart home apps from your old phone first. Also remember to do a factory reset on your device to remove all of your data.