Smart home objects increase our convenience and decrease consumption, but they also often pose a safety hazard
When we talk about smart home, we immediately think of efficiency and energy savings. Yet connected homes represent a strong risk to our security and privacy. As we have seen on several occasions, in fact, smart and connected objects are increasingly targeted by hackers.
The Internet of Things devices, or the home router. There are several devices that a cyber criminal could sabotage in order to cheat us or to steal our most confidential information. For this reason, it is essential to take a series of actions to secure all the electronic objects in our home. In particular, we have to do it if these devices are designed for the smart home, and are therefore equipped with an Internet connection and can communicate with each other. Here are seven key steps to securing our smart home.
We need to think of our router as the beating heart of the home connection. Just as the heart is an organ that should be protected and helped, the modem should also be considered as the first device to be secured. Fortunately, it only takes a few clicks and minutes to change passwords and some router settings to increase our security.
Network switches are ports that connect wired devices to a network. Almost all wireless modems have a built-in network switch, which usually houses four Ethernet ports. Nowadays we almost always connect using Wi-Fi, but we need to pay special attention to what is connected to these wires. An attacker could get into the house and connect via the Ethernet port and pull off an online scam.
We've talked many times about the need to secure our smart objects. Unfortunately, many manufacturers bring them to market with inadequate security standards for recent hacker attacks. Often these devices are not used to generate an attack against us but are exploited to feed a botnet. Still, the danger remains high.
Beware of security holes
To protect our home we must take care of all the electronic items we have. Just updating your computer and changing your router settings is not enough. Think for example of surveillance cameras which are among the most targeted objects by hackers. Therefore, on every device we own, we need to check the security standards and in case update the operating system with new patches, when available.
Since we talked about security updates, it is important in general to always make updates on any device we own at home. From tablets to smartphones to computers and smart appliances. It's also important to update your router's firmware consistently.
We've already talked about Ethernet cables. They are the standard wired network used on almost every router. They allow Internet connection via cables from a device to a router. Connecting this way with your PC is inconvenient, it's true, but it could be a great solution if we fear that we have ended up a victim of a hacker attack. This is because the Wi-Fi network may have been tampered with by a cyber criminal. While the Ethernet cable is direct between PC and router, without Wi-Fi being used.
WPA2 stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2, and is a protocol that uses encryption to protect users' connection. It is an improved version of the original WPA, which in turn was preceded by a technology called WEP. When we choose a new password for our router we also select WPA 2 encryption, so we can increase our security.