Protect Your Smart Home From Cyberattacks

Apr 7, 2021 | Business Insurance

Smart Home Technology and Cybercrime

Smart home technology is becoming more and more popular nowadays. The wonders of having one brought people the convenience that they ever wish for. Some of them are having smart appliances such as a smart TV, smart lighting, smart home security, and virtual assistance such as Alexa! At some point, have you thought of your smart home being unsafe from cyberattacks? What will you do to protect it?

There’s no doubt that smart home technology has played a big part in household routines. Its features include automatic locking and unlocking of doors. Another one is the monitoring of control entry to your home, and even regulating the temperature of the entire home! Consumers have taken advantage of smart home devices at present with so many ways how to use them. The only downside is it might lead to increased risks as it becomes rampant. 

The advantages of this innovation are undeniably amazing. However, there is a big risk that smart home technology may leak your personal or private information. You might become susceptible to hackers which eventually lead you to danger. As independent insurance in Denver, Co, we would like to give you some tips on how to protect your smart home from hackers. At the end of this quick read, you’ll learn some ways you can come up with.

The edge and downside of having a smart home

Owning a smart home becomes a necessity nowadays as technology continues to advance its innovation. Almost every household has smart TVs, smartphones, and other devices that can help our lives easier. Here are just some benefits that might convince you to have your own smart home.

A one-touch button that can do it all

Imagine being able to do all that you want in a single snap. Isn’t that amazing? By just clicking a button you can perform multi-tasking in the whole house. You can heat and cool your home at the same turn your lights on and off. Aside from being efficient, it saves electricity too.

Having access without much effort

With smart home technology, you don’t need to be physically there inside your home to operate and monitor what’s happening. One example of a smart home convenience is if you’re about to sleep and you forgot to turn off the lights downstairs. Isn’t it tiresome to go back and do it? It is a big relief if you have an automated feature that turns on and off the light with one command!

Home operations are taken care of

Having a smart home keeps you comfortable by doing the tasks. Instead of you doing everything that will make you tired, this awesome technology will perform those tasks for you. You just have to sit and relax until everything is settled.

Worry-free set up

Checking windows, doors, and water sensors are just some things that you sometimes tend to forget if you’re tired from work. Smart devices can make your mind at peace because you can control these things without further taking action to do it. Even if you are on your bed you can check if you had closed your garage door through apps. No need to go back and check it yourself.

You can customize your smart home

With a smart home, you can set up the system however you like it. You may set up the brightness of your indoor and outdoor lighting up to the time set for each smart device. You are the boss of your home and so on your devices.

As we enjoy the advantages of smart homes, cyberattacks can be a lot dangerous to our quiet lives. Hackers are everywhere, ready to steal our personal information for their benefit. You might ask “If smart home technology is an invention designed for a comfortable life, how come hackers can sneak into our secured home?” 

How can hackers infiltrate your smart home?

You may be wondering, with all the high-tech devices installed in your home, how can a hacker gain access to your smart home? With all the benefits, come the consequences. I mean, your home probably has the latest technology, and yet it might be hacked by some random people?

Through Internet connectivity

We all know that the number one vulnerability of a smart home is an internet connection. Being connected to the internet makes your home susceptible to hacking. It can be accessed by other people not living within your area. That’s the power of being connected to the internet, other websites and computers can access it remotely.

Insufficient or no built-in security

You may not notice that the devices installed may have insufficient built-in security. Worse, there’s none! There may be software from the hacker’s end that is specially designed to access your computer. It can also hack your home network which is dangerous as it might expose your private information.

Setting up security features

Smart home devices have instructions that you need to read carefully. Take a look at the information as to how you can be able to put up the built-in security. Being unable to confirm the security features of your devices might be a reason for a possible cyberattack. 

The only way to prevent that is to learn about the vulnerability of your device and protect the network where you connect your devices. Safeguard your home network by following the steps and setting up the built-in security accordingly.

What are the things you can do to help protect your smart home from hackers? 

As mentioned above, the potential of your smart home being hacked is big because everything we use now mostly is connected to the internet. But hey, don’t fret! You could still enjoy the comfort of having a safe, smart home by following these tips we have for you. 

Keep an eye on the vulnerability of your smart home devices

You have to know which among your devices can connect to the internet. This would be the first step in protecting your smart home. Also, you need to identify if it is necessary or you may want to connect those devices to your home network. Find out which security features are available for them before you buy, install, and connect them.

Each device in your home is connected through your Wi-Fi router. These are your smart speaker, smart TV, thermostat, and your video doorbell. Imagine, if one of these devices is hacked, what will happen to the others? All of your smart devices are therefore vulnerable to future cyber-attacks! You will then need to create a plan of how you can protect your smart abode. 

Consider smart home technology brands that are trusted

When you go shopping, you tend to go for the cheaper brands especially if you are on a tight budget. We always choose the product that has the lowest price. However, you must remember that most cheap brands incur low quality that eventually results in risks. 

Brand names always prefer to maintain good quality and safety to their products to protect their image. That is an indication that they seriously mean security to their customers. There is no guarantee that they can’t be hacked though. It is still best to have your research about your choices. Read and consider the reviews of the customers that purchased the smart devices.

You must include in your options if the smart device comes with security updates and regular software. Always look for the privacy policy and understand if your captured personal data might be hacked. Search on how are consumers protected through the web.

Safeguard your home Wi-Fi through strong passwords

Putting up and updating your Wi-Fi router and its default settings need a unique password to protect your home network. One of the samples of being susceptible to being hacked is the given default passwords that are usually seen in the router. They are provided by your choice of internet service. 

Create a password that is intended only for your Wi-Fi network. Try to use WPA2 encryption or Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 which secures additional WPA for wireless networks. It assures a high level of protection and access control that only authorized people can enter their networks. Equip your Wi-Fi with a firewall for better security.

Look for the product information included in the WiFi router package to see the guided details. 

You can also find helpful information to access your router’s settings by searching the website of the manufacturer and your internet service provider. Ask your provider for the latest security updates for routers and upgrade if possible.

Consider giving each smart device a unique password

We’ve discussed putting a unique password for your router. How about your smart devices? Are they safe once you secure your router? The answer is NO. It wouldn’t be safe to assume that your smart devices are safe because your WI-Fi network is secured. Being connected to mobile apps that require access to some of your details, may share your personal information which is very risky.

You may consider putting a password for each device that is different from one another. You may at least update these passwords several times annually and use long passwords. Do not settle for simple passwords or those you have used for your other accounts. If this confuses you, you may use a safe, user-friendly password manager. It is a digital vault that is encrypted and safely saves the login information you used to open websites. It can create strong passwords to help you so you can not repeat them through all your devices.

There’s another way in securing your passwords – the two-factor authentication feature. Some smart devices don’t have it. This feature provides a second password. In case a hacker got your password and username, he needs to get past the second password or special code to gain access. It also notifies if there’s a suspicious activity so you can quickly change your password.

Secure the privacy settings of your smart devices

Aside from the tips above, there are a lot of ways you can try to instill a more secure smart home. Your devices have their privacy settings. You can enable the strongest security options if you will learn and try this. Disable remote access and devices with Wi-Fi on feature unless necessary.

Be cautious when opening your home security system while using a public network that is unprotected. This will lead to danger as it might leak your information. You may use VPN or Virtual Private Network app instead or use your hotspot to protect your home and yourself. Learn to manage your smart home technology carefully.

Insure your smart home for more protection

Technology is continuously expanding and our homes are on their way to keeping up-to-date with the newest trends. Why not secure ourselves from possible loss if something bad happens to our smart home? Let’s be practical. While the world is evolving its way to technology, security risks are also growing and becoming worse. 

Yes, it is good to know if we have savings that will help us if unexpected things hit us like there’s no tomorrow. But are they enough? Can you endure the loss and the out-of-pocket spending that you need to afford recouping? It makes sense that it is wise to insure your home at the soonest possible time. The comfort of staying inside your smart home is truly blissful if you know you have someone backing you up for every possible mishap. 

It is easy to bear paying the monthly premiums rather than spending for everything all at once! Besides insurance companies are after those clients who spend in securing the safety of their homes and well-being. Having a smart home qualifies for discounts so it would help you pay a little cheaper. That’s a big advantage you must take. You pay less and get to earn bigger in times of need!

The Takeaway

The comfort and convenience of having a smart home is an amazing experience every individual could wish for. That is why it is in our best interest that we must safeguard our property from cyber risks. Learning the ways to prevent it from happening is the only key to securing our safety and our information private. 

Advantage Insurance Solutions in Denver, Colorado offers Cyber Liability Insurance which gives you security against data breaches and other cyber attacks. Give us a call today and let’s make sure that your information, online activities, and data are safe and secured

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