How You Can Improve Your Smart Home's Cybersecurity

by Michele Brown & The Real Estate Professionals 12/05/2021

Image by Biljana Jovanovic from Pixabay

Smart homes might be convenient, but there are always trade-offs to technology. Cybercriminals already have a wide reach and the increased popularity of smart technology can leave your home open to possible threats. However, there are plenty of easy things you can do to bolster your home security while still enjoying the benefits of technology. Here are some basic tips to help:

Passwords Are Still Important

The rules for passwords have steadily gotten more intricate over the years. However, the same best practices are still as important as ever. While it might save time to re-use passwords that are easy to remember, it can leave the door open to potential security risks. Instead, create strong passwords that blend a number of characters, mixed cases, numbers, etc. Try to make separate password for every device, and look into password manager apps to help you keep track. It's also a good idea to update any passwords that you've had for a year or more--just make sure to make a note of it!

Multi-Factor Authentication

You should opt for 2-factor authentication whenever it's available. This security step means that you'll need more than just your password to sign in to a device or account. The most common version of this is adding a mobile phone number in order to receive a separate authorization code. Others might send an email or even a QR code to scan. This additional security requirement might seem tedious but it's proven to be extremely effective in protecting your accounts.

Stay Updated

Updates are more than just a way to debut new features. Software and firmware updates often include security fixes to close potential gaps in your system. Registering your device with the brand or company will give you the advantage of automated updates, but it's a good idea to check manually. In some cases, you'll need to proactively run the updates to keep your equipment secure. This also means that older devices can be less secure because they can't support new firmware updates. Keep this in mind when trying to determine if your devices are due for an upgrade.

Create a Guest Network

Every device on your network can potentially interfere with your security. Allowing friends and guests access to your devices and networks runs the risk of security issues if any of them happens to get hacked. Therefore it's always a good idea to create a guest network for others to use.. You can set specific permissions for guest networks or you can allow all of the same functionality and freedom of your admin accounts. You can also set limits on downloads or data usage to protect you from possible overcharges or reduced internet speed. Either way you will have the peace of mind that comes from a controlled digital environment while still welcoming others in to your home.

These are all best practices for keeping your home safe, but cybersecurity is always changing. Keeping your devices updates and making yourself aware of any major security breaches can help protect your information and ensure your safety.