4 Common Sense Tips To Use In Protecting Your Smart Home From Hackers

By Kachi Ojieh Tuesday, August 08, 2017
smart home appliances - IoT
Featured image source: VRM Intel

It shouldn’t be surprising to you if I told you that everything in your home may be connected to the internet sooner than you expected, from your refrigerator to your microwave oven, your door lock, and perhaps your bathroom. Anyways, just know that few of your gadgets may already be connected.

Today, hackers are working consistently to see that they compromise smart home devices. They would go any length to exploit vulnerabilities discovered in them. The hard truth is since the inception of Internet of Things (IoT), practically every smart home appliances that connects to the internet have become a target for hackers to exploit. The worst part of the whole thing is that a large number of smart devices used in homes cannot ensure that they won’t be hacked by themselves; it’s now up to us to take a step and put preventive measures to help keep it secured.

If you truly want to prevent your smart home devices from becoming your worst nightmare, follow these tips.

#1. Don’t leave your default settings as programmed by the manufacturers; change it and thank me later


Gadgets which are internet-connected is regularly shipped with default passwords, and sadly users always fail to change them, leading to those gadgets effortlessly exploited by hackers. A lot of DDoS attack carried out on devices is as a result of default passwords which were left unchanged by users.

Keep it in mind that without much stress hackers can discover gadgets on the internet. It is important that you change the default passwords for any new gadget you interface with the internet.

Likewise, every internet-connected gadget has an ID that can be seen by any individual who discovers access to the gadget's network (a smartphone can do the job very well). Be wise and change the default ID which most times may come with the manufacturer’s name and type of device; to be on a safe side. By doing so, you just made it harder for them to hack your smart home and get away with the details.

#2. Always stay up-to-date by installing the most recent software


Many smart home device manufacturers would beat their chest (literally!) and tell you that their products are faultless, don’t be quickly moved as most internet-connected gadgets which are considered to be simple have been frequently discovered to have loopholes which are exploitable.

So, you should constantly check if there are new updates for your smart home devices and perform an update immediately.

#3. Make sure you turn off/disable unwanted features


A lot of smart home devices comes with features that you may rarely use, this includes in-built camera, microphone which may become object of target for hackers to use in taking control over your device. So until the need arise to use those features, disable them, and in situations where your device lacks the option to “disable camera”, just block access to it as we all do with our PC’s web camera.

#4. Stick to few connectivity options


Various smart home gadgets have connectivity options which differ from one another, for example, Bluetooth, Ethernet and Wi-Fi. To keep your devices from harm’s way, stick to few connectivity options and disable the ones you are not making use of. Also, you can settle for wired connection over a Wi-Fi, since it is harder for hackers to break in when it is in place.

Moreover, a couple of devices don't generally require the internet before they work, so in case you are not going to be connecting to the cloud services that came with your smart home, simply disable internet access to it. This will decrease the likelihood of a remote hack on your device.

Are there ways you protected your Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets from hackers we didn’t mention? Lets us know in the comments below.

smart home appliances - IoT
Featured image source: VRM Intel

It shouldn’t be surprising to you if I told you that everything in your home may be connected to the internet sooner than you expected, from your refrigerator to your microwave oven, your door lock, and perhaps your bathroom. Anyways, just know that few of your gadgets may already be connected.

Today, hackers are working consistently to see that they compromise smart home devices. They would go any length to exploit vulnerabilities discovered in them. The hard truth is since the inception of Internet of Things (IoT), practically every smart home appliances that connects to the internet have become a target for hackers to exploit. The worst part of the whole thing is that a large number of smart devices used in homes cannot ensure that they won’t be hacked by themselves; it’s now up to us to take a step and put preventive measures to help keep it secured.

If you truly want to prevent your smart home devices from becoming your worst nightmare, follow these tips.

#1. Don’t leave your default settings as programmed by the manufacturers; change it and thank me later


Gadgets which are internet-connected is regularly shipped with default passwords, and sadly users always fail to change them, leading to those gadgets effortlessly exploited by hackers. A lot of DDoS attack carried out on devices is as a result of default passwords which were left unchanged by users.

Keep it in mind that without much stress hackers can discover gadgets on the internet. It is important that you change the default passwords for any new gadget you interface with the internet.

Likewise, every internet-connected gadget has an ID that can be seen by any individual who discovers access to the gadget's network (a smartphone can do the job very well). Be wise and change the default ID which most times may come with the manufacturer’s name and type of device; to be on a safe side. By doing so, you just made it harder for them to hack your smart home and get away with the details.

#2. Always stay up-to-date by installing the most recent software


Many smart home device manufacturers would beat their chest (literally!) and tell you that their products are faultless, don’t be quickly moved as most internet-connected gadgets which are considered to be simple have been frequently discovered to have loopholes which are exploitable.

So, you should constantly check if there are new updates for your smart home devices and perform an update immediately.

#3. Make sure you turn off/disable unwanted features


A lot of smart home devices comes with features that you may rarely use, this includes in-built camera, microphone which may become object of target for hackers to use in taking control over your device. So until the need arise to use those features, disable them, and in situations where your device lacks the option to “disable camera”, just block access to it as we all do with our PC’s web camera.

#4. Stick to few connectivity options


Various smart home gadgets have connectivity options which differ from one another, for example, Bluetooth, Ethernet and Wi-Fi. To keep your devices from harm’s way, stick to few connectivity options and disable the ones you are not making use of. Also, you can settle for wired connection over a Wi-Fi, since it is harder for hackers to break in when it is in place.

Moreover, a couple of devices don't generally require the internet before they work, so in case you are not going to be connecting to the cloud services that came with your smart home, simply disable internet access to it. This will decrease the likelihood of a remote hack on your device.

Are there ways you protected your Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets from hackers we didn’t mention? Lets us know in the comments below.

Kachi Ojieh
Kachi Ojieh

"Tech Is Before Anything Else since 2017". Kachi Ojieh is the CEO and Founder of Tech Is Bae. An enthusiastic blogger with the heart to unify all tech lovers across the globe. Currently working to make sure readers keep coming back for more.

No Comment to " 4 Common Sense Tips To Use In Protecting Your Smart Home From Hackers "