Securing yourself and the family against home automation hacks

6 May

Home automation hacking is a dream come true for opportunistic criminals the world over. It’s a criminal’s lucky day when they can view CCTV footage of your home, lock and unlock your doors, deactivate the alarm, and even take a leisurely browse through your private information on your connected devices.

A scary thought isn’t it!

Smart home – Smart security

If you have a smart home, then you’re undoubtedly well ensconced in the joys of home automation. It’s nice having the home do all those trivial time-consuming tasks you just couldn’t be bothered it. Your system can turn on the lights, draw the curtains, adjust the lighting, play your favourite music… Chances are, you can’t remember what life was like before you got your home automated.

But in order to appreciate the luxuries of automation, smart home security and encryption needs to be set in place to protect the home, yourself and the family against home automation attacks.

There’s always a price to pay for convenience and for some homeowners, that price has been their possessions. Gone are the days when home invasions were the latest thing to be on the lookout for. Now your home can be invaded with a click of a button, and you probably won’t even be there to protect your valuable assets.

Tips to protect you from home automation hacks

Your safety, data privacy, and peace of mind are at stake if you don’t have the correct security mechanisms in place. Avoid becoming a victim of home automation hacks with these security tips:

1. Do your homework before buying a system. Read reviews and find a reputable and ethical home automation company to work with.
2. Set a strong, encrypted password and change it from time to time.
3. Invest in a secure router that’s known for its security features. Make sure that you change the default password when you set it up.
4. Never use public Wi-Fi access to remotely connect to your smart home system. Rather use your mobile data or access the home automation system via the providers secure, encrypted website.
5. Update your router firmware and home automation software regularly.
6. Check your CCTV camera logs regularly. It’s important to note any IP addresses that you don’t recognise on your logs. This could be a sign that you have been hacked.
7. Change the default port settings of your cameras as most home automation systems use the same port. Don’t make it easy for hackers!
8. Carefully choose the positions of your cameras. It’s not a good idea to have cameras pointed inside bedrooms or similar privacy-vulnerable areas.
9. Go incognito! Set your wireless router to hide the network from automatic searches. Hackers will need to know the name of your network to search for it.
10. Make encryption a top priority. The home automation provider should be able to tell you if the signals for videos and controls are encrypted or not.

Protect your home and family

If you haven’t already done it, it’s time to secure your home against home automation hacks. Use the 10 tips above to step up your security level immediately, and always back up your data just in case the worst does happen – which it won’t, if you are smart about securing your home!

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