Cybersecurity Smart Home

Cybercrime is on the rise and criminals are becoming more sophisticated. This is unfortunately a reality that means that individuals, businesses and organisations need to take close care with their cybersecurity.

It might be the case that you are used to the idea of seeing phishing emails in your inbox and understand how to set passwords that are impossible to crack – but you might not be aware that increasing cybercriminals are targeting our homes themselves. 

Indeed, there can be no doubt that cybercriminals are consistently looking at property as a potentially lucrative target. 86% of property professionals say they are concerned about the potential for cyberattacks. Criminals see the opportunity to target properties whether it is during transactions, or simply by attacking the devices in the homes of private individuals. 

With homes containing more smart devices than ever before, there are naturally a lot of ways that criminals can find weak points in your system and exploit them. Internet-connected gadgets and appliances – from televisions to fridges – are a big part of how we now live our lives, so it is vital that we do everything we can to minimise the risk. 

In this article, we look at how to take the necessary steps to secure your smart home.

 

Enable Two-Factor Authentication 

If you aren’t aware of the term ‘two-factor authentication’ (2FA), you have still probably used it. For example, it might be the case that when you log in to your bank account you need to provide a password as well as a code that is sent to your mobile phone. This simply adds an extra layer of security – if a criminal was able to compromise your password, that wouldn’t be enough to get them into your account. 

2FA can be used on a number of different devices and it is really worth opting for wherever possible. The kind of smart devices you have around your home probably don’t need to be accessed very often, so the change in terms of slowing down the login process really shouldn’t affect you significantly. 

Research has shown that even this extremely simple cybersecurity method can be highly effective at defending you against attacks. 

 

Replace Routers As They Become Outdated

One of the biggest weaknesses in smart homes is any kind of technology that has become outdated. Older versions of key equipment like routers might be convenient and easy for you to use, but they may also have glaring and known security weaknesses that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals. 

Having outdated protocols or a flaw in the security that can be exploited leaves you open to an attack if a criminal is able to work out the router that you have. Of course, this doesn’t mean that changing up your router on a regular basis is a silver bullet – rather you should keep aware of the security status of your router and change it when necessary.

 

Add Cybersecurity to your Wi-Fi

It should also be noted that when you replace your router you need to ensure that everything is set up effectively. For example, you should change the router’s default name. Doing so takes away the possibility that a cybercriminal will be able to search for that type of router and find out its known flaws.

The same goes for the password that you are using; it should be changed from the default. Once again, you don’t want the possibility – no matter how remote it might seem, that a criminal might be able to get access to the password. 

 

Be mindful of passwords on your network

Passwords are still a vital part of your cybersecurity. It is essential that you should have unique passwords for each device across your network. Using the same password simply means that if one is ever compromised, the criminals have access to every other device across the network as well. 

There is still some confusion about how to set a strong password. In general, you should think of eight characters as an absolute minimum – anywhere from 12 to 18 is ideal, and it should include a mixture of upper case and lower case letters, as well as numbers and symbols. 

 

Update Your Devices

Keeping your devices up to date is another essential part of good ongoing cybersecurity for your smart home. Remember that when devices are updated they are generally patched to protect them against vulnerabilities that have been discovered. This means that if you are not updating your devices, they are still vulnerable. 

 

The more cybersecurity steps that you can take, the better protected you will be against cybercrime. It is always best to focus on powerful security measures rather than what makes your life easiest.