The connected home: How safe is it?
Authored by a NortonLifeLock employee
Connected homes are a newer, emerging technology gaining popularity very quickly.
The connected home is focused on ease of use and convenience. Have you ever left the house and wondered if you turned the heater off, or locked the front door? Well, with the connected home, there’s an app for that! Part of the Internet of Things, the smart home is poised to be the next big deal. As of 2013 there were over 400 million home-connected devices shipped worldwide for that year. Yet with all of this automation so freely available for your home, there are some security concerns to go along with it.
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What Does A Connected Home Do?
These devices perform an array of tasks, such as control your climate, unlock your doors, adjust your lighting, control and access security cameras, slow cook a pot roast, and more. In order to have such an automated home, all you need is a home Wi-Fi system and a smartphone at your disposal.
Connecting Everything- What Are the Risks?
In addition to making daily tasks more of a convenience, the applications that go along with connected home devices also collect data about your daily habits and usage. Considering that these applications jointly collect data about your home in one central location, do you know what the companies are doing with all of that data? In addition to the collection of this data, do you know how to stay secure from breaches to keep that data from falling into the wrong hands?
Some of these new technologies are relatively easy to hack. Although this is a large concern, it is somewhat avoidable by securing the technologies that interact with these new types of products.
Security Tips For The Connected Home
Since the hub for the connected home tends to be the smartphone and the delivery system the home Wi-Fi, you’ll want to start with securing these items.
Secure Your Home Network:
- Change the default username and administrative passwords on all wireless equipment and devices that connect to your network.
- Turn on Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), which is a security protocol that creates a secure network via encryption.
- Turn on all firewalls on your computers and wireless router. Add an extra layer of security to your computers by using security software such as Norton Security. Your wireless network itself may be secure, but it is not secure from the various types of malware transmitted to your computers via the Internet. Everything is connected. *Use strong and secure passwords for your wireless network.
Secure Your Smartphone:
- Use a password on your phone to keep other users from accessing your phone in the event that it gets lost or stolen. Make sure your device auto-locks when not in use. Be sure to have an option to remotely wipe the data from your phone in the event that it is actually stolen.
- Be sure to perform regular software updates on all apps and your phone’s OS. As a result, this will patch possible security vulnerabilities that can give malware and cybercriminals access to your phone.
What Does The Future Hold For The Connected Home?
Although this is still new technology, the industry is booming with new products coming out quite frequently. Since this industry seems to be growing fairly quickly along with the popularity of these devices, security concerns will increasingly come into the spotlight. In the interim, you can still use these products safely as long as you implement the safeguards mentioned here.
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Disclaimers and references:
NortonLifeLock Inc. is a global leader in consumer Cyber Safety. We are dedicated to helping secure the devices, identities, online privacy, and home and family needs of more than 50 million consumers, providing them with a trusted ally in a complex digital world.
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