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10 Ways to Secure Your IoT and Smart Home Devices

New normal business strategies include the newest emerging technologies and touchless solutions for homes, public utilities, and workplaces. The pandemic pushed technological developments at the forefront, and one of those is the Internet of Things or IoT.

An IoT ecosystem comprises web-enabled smart devices that gather, communicate, and act on data from their surroundings. IoT devices link to an IoT gateway or other edge device to share sensor data transmitted to the cloud for analysis or processed locally. People can engage with the gadgets to set them up, give them instructions, or access data, but they perform most of the work themselves.

So, more and more businesses in the new normal aim to enhance user experiences integrate these technologies into their services and products. But these products are not 100% fool-proof when it comes to security.

You must ensure that your house is secured if it is linked. Connected devices are the foundation of the concept of smart homes. While newer devices have addressed security vulnerabilities that earlier versions had, they must keep their connected gadgets updated.

Indeed, a more connected house will enhance your lifestyle and make your life more efficient. On the other hand, when everything is done on the internet, you are more susceptible to cyberpunk attacks. This group of hackers is capable of stealing your personal information, accessing your finances, and even directing those microphone and camera arrays to spy on you.

You will risk losing your privacy and security if you use intelligent gadgets such as smart speakers, TVs, thermostats, fridges, security cameras, and so on. In essence, many access points make you vulnerable to attacks because of their limited protection.

1. Install Latest Security Patches

Keep an eye on what ports are available to the outside world from your IoT device, and make sure all IoT devices have the newest security updates installed. To protect your perimeter while keeping you abreast of the latest dangers, you will apply security patches.

2. Set up Your Router Correctly

Your Wi-Fi router serves as your home’s gateway. Be mindful of the potential for a catastrophic breakdown in the event of a cyber attack.

In other words, the router is a critical component when it comes to constructing a more secure smart home. Your IoT devices are invaluable since they are interdependent on one other, and everything links to everything else.

3. Change the Router’s Default Name

When configuring your router, do not use the default name assigned to it by the manufacturer or model. There is a risk that others may learn about the brand and model, which will allow them to figure out the default login information and get access to your intelligent home network.

To be on the safe side, alter the name to a name that is not linked to you or your address. Use your router’s name creatively, but don’t include any personal information.

4. Set up a guest network

Maintain the confidentiality of your Wi-Fi account. Visitors, friends, and family may log onto a separate network that is not connected to your IoT devices, allowing them to stay connected.

5. Segment Your Network

Assume that the devices will be compromised and segment your network so that you can isolate the network, therefore reducing the impact of zero-day exploits. Organize them so that you can manage network access based on the manufacturer and the type of device.

6. Have A Strong Password Policy

Check to make sure you are not utilizing the default security settings provided by the manufacturer. A typical blunder is for customers to assume that the default settings on Wi-Fi and other intelligent devices are sufficient in all circumstances.

They certainly aren’t. It is essential to check your default settings to ensure that firewalls and multifactor authentication are enabled. Above all, be sure that your password is updated and strengthened.

7. Don’t Use The Default Security Settings

Finally, choose the highest degree of encryption available, which is currently WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access) (WPA3 is just around the corner). If your network only supports the WPA or WEP security protocols, it may be time to consider upgrading your device.

Home routers are one of the most popular IoT targets for hackers. As a result, a secure router results in a smart home that is far more secure.

8. Create a Separate Wi-Fi Network for IoT Devices

Many contemporary routers allow you to create a guest (or secondary) network, which helps share resources. By establishing a separate network for your IoT devices, you can protect your leading network from IoT risks and keep it running smoothly.

Having a separate WiFi network implies that family, friends, and visitors will connect to a network that is not connected to your IoT devices. Therefore, your intelligent home networks are solely available to you and your family members (and your family).

Given that putting IoT devices on a separate network keeps them apart from the rest of your network, even if hackers manage to get through, they will not be able to access any of your more critical devices, such as your laptop or smartphone.

9. Maintain A Global Access Map

As customers increasingly rely on connected gadgets and appliances in their homes, it is essential to ensure a “global access map” that identifies who has access to what information. Having voice assistants positioned near open windows or doors while managing essential operations such as opening a screen door or turning on a stove is one source of risk.

10. Keep Your Devices Up-To-Date

Firmware updates for your Wi-Fi router will not take place automatically. These updates frequently include critical security fixes that can significantly improve the overall security of your network.

Consequently, perform a manual check every few months, and if any firmware updates are out of date, be sure to install them immediately away. Many Internet of Things devices (and associated apps) do not automatically upgrade in a similar spirit but instead, encourage you to do so whenever a new version is available. Please do not delay in making the necessary changes.

Conclusion

A strong cybersecurity strategy begins in your home. You may spend a lot of money on the most costly Internet of Things gadgets from top businesses, but at the end of the day, the security of your smart home is in your hands. As a result, take the time to complete your homework before deciding on a gadget. Check to see whether it is still receiving manufacturer updates or any vulnerabilities that users have reported. Even if it means spending more time and money, it’s always best to be prepared than sorry.

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Mayleen Meñez

Mayleen Meñez used to work in media before finding her true passion in NGO work, travelling the Philippines and Asia doing so. She homeschools 3 kids and loves reinventing Filipino dishes. She is a resident SEO writer for Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand.

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