How Smart Devices Can Get Hacked (and What You Can Do)
IoT (internet of things) devices have become more ubiquitous in many homes. Examples are voice activated speakers, lighting fixtures, thermostats, home security systems and cameras. According to IDC, the market for consumer IoT spending will hit $108 billion in 2019.
These connected devices have transformed homes into smart homes, automating everyday tasks. They are fantastic especially when chained together. With a single voice command, you can control features on your smart thermostat and camera. Life is good!
Be Mindful of Security Risks
Connecting everyday devices to the internet is a great idea. But users also have to be mindful of the security risks. Recently released IoT devices have not hardened security yet. Smart cameras, thermostats like Nest system, voice activated speakers like Alexa and even baby monitors can be hacked.
This video illustrates a smart thermostat hacker attack.
This video shows how a hacker forces a device to disconnect from the home wifi.
Keep smart devices as tools of convenience. Not entry points for hackers.
We keep our home doors locked to prevent intrusion. We need to be as vigilant about digital intrusions through our connected devices.
What You Can Do
There are simple but effective ways to protect your home and your family today. 6 Ways to Protect Yourself from Hackers provides 6 easy to follow tips. Creating strong passwords and how to create them is key.
Additionally, consider the following:
1. Besides creating strong passwords, use unique passwords for everything. This includes devices, accounts, shopping sites, social media, email. Stay on the safe side of containing the damage done by an enterprising hacker. With a password manager, you only need to remember a single, master password that unlocks the rest. The best ones are 1Password, LastPass, and Dashlane.
2. Secure your wifi network. Smart devices connect to the internet over the home wifi system. Hide your home network from view. This is an option in your router’s settings menu. This prevents passers by from knowing your network exists. Protect your wifi network also by choosing a strong password. Never use the default password that came with your modem or router.
3. Get a 24/7 hacker monitoring and alert system. For added peace of mind, invest in one. Make sure it is simple to set-up and use. It is completely wireless for less hassle and affordable. It should do all the heavy work for you as you see below and make it easy.
We all love the conveniences our connected devices provide. We also want the peace of mind that they remain secure. Our smart homes should also be safe homes. As we free ourselves from worry, we free up more time to spend on things that we truly enjoy – like friends and family.
And isn’t that what life is about!