Cyber Security In Smart Homes
There’s no denying that the fast-paced digital transformation experienced in the past decade has opened more opportunities than we could ever imagine. Thanks to the emergence of such technologies as the 5G network, AI, IoT, and machine learning, people are interconnected through devices, apps, and websites, making the world nothing short of a global village.
But you know what they say about progress – in every seed of good, there is always a piece of evil. In our case, these tremendous tech advancements have opened loopholes for cyber threat actions (CTAs). For instance, the property development sector poses a vulnerable target for cybercriminals with the emergence of smart homes.
Good news: by employing the right cybersecurity measures in smart homes, homeowners can successfully eliminate or minimize CTAs. This blog explains why cybersecurity is an issue for smart homes, top devices that are a target for CTAs, and actionable tips on how to keep your smart home/IoT devices safe.
Why are Smart Homes Vulnerable?
Unfortunately, smart homes and IoT devices are the weak links that cybercriminals leverage to stage their malicious attacks. By targeting just one device, a hacker can gain access to your security network and alter crucial details like Wi-Fi credentials. When compromised, smart devices like thermostats can help hackers wreak havoc in your home by informing them when you’ll be away. From the moment your connected home network gets accessed by an unauthorized individual, your private data may be in for an ill-intended threat.
What are the Top Five Smart Devices Most Targeted by Cybercriminals?
Smart TVs are everyday electronics in most homes today, thanks to users’ par-level convenience. In any case, who wouldn’t love controlling their favorite shows with their voices or by clicking a button without moving a toe? But here comes the dark side; vulnerability to cyber threat actions. If you’re using the same Wi-Fi, a cybercriminal could easily access your device by planting malware into your network.
A hacker accessing your personal information available on your cell phone is a piece of cake. How so? We use our devices every day to complete various activities like communicating, checking/responding to emails, accessing financial accounts, etc. Cybercriminals can access and compromise your sensitive data by:
- Hacking your phone, especially when using a public Wi-Fi
- Planting a bug
- Infecting your device with malware by sending you a dangerous link via email or browser
- Leveraging a defect in your device’s operating system
Connected Baby Monitors
With a child comes the responsibility of protecting it at all costs. And that may involve acquiring a connected baby monitor. Unfortunately, such a device can become a weak link that cybercriminals use to gain access to your smart home without your suspicion.
Modern cars have connected computer network systems that inform users about critical information like location, speed, weather, etc. These may include GPS systems, video screens, Wi-Fi networks, and backup cameras. These are cool advancements that make the riding experience incredibly efficient and memorable. However, they also provide leeway for staging attacks.
For instance, cybercriminals can access and compromise your car’s operation by implanting tiny devices which grant them control via a mobile phone. This can lead to dangerous hacks such as disabling breaks, cutting off the transmission, interfering with the GPS, cranking up the radio, and more.
Voice Controlled Assistants
Voice-controlled assistants act as a smart home’s listening ears, and if hacked, a cybercriminal could gain access to tons of information about your home. A voice-controlled assistant is usually used as a central command spot for controlling other devices like CCTV cameras, smart bulbs, refrigerators, smart speakers, and smart locks. Some people even go to the extent of connecting accounts like food delivery, shopping lists, or driver services, posing more profound risks to personal data when a CTA occurs.
How Do You Keep Your Smart Home and IoT Devices Safe from Cyber Threats?
Here are the top ten actionable tips for outsmarting cybercriminals and keeping your home safe:
- DO NOT use default passwords or usernames for any smart home device. Change them to unique passwords, and make it a routine to remain spontaneous.
- DO NOT buy a device unless it’s protected.
- If possible, avoid using shared/community Wi-Fi networks.
- Solidify security further by setting up two-factor authentication.
- Ensure your software systems are up-to-date.
- Restrain from managing your smart home devices using public Wi-Fi.
- Disable all unneeded features.
- Biometric authentication, e.g., fingerprints or facial identifiers, are always the best.
- Enhance network security further by installing a firewall.
- Make a habit of renaming and rebooting your router often.
Over to You!
More than ever, we need to start prioritizing smart home devices’ security just like we do for laptops and mobile phones. But there’s one small catch; these devices are not quite user-friendly, and it may take lots of time and effort to customize security settings, especially if you’re a greenhorn.
However, that’s not an issue if you invest in the best smart home system. Making such a move helps you optimize your smart home technology with the latest inventions that help boost cybersecurity. If you’d like to discover how we can leverage our property development expertise and accessories to enhance smart home cybersecurity, contact us at (305) 357-0635 today.