Sure we love it when our man-made non-living friends are doing all the trivial work for us. But we need to realize that we are into that era where technology has more control over our lives rather than the reverse. With the arrival of artificial intelligence, came the new world of automation. Our privacy fell in stake. How? These newly devised systems are collecting personal data to understand our behavior, schedule, work, and other activities we do, to provide personalized service.  Say your digital assistant reads the mails for you. For that, it will have to capture all the data in the mail and convert it into a voice format through a complex process. Did you see what happened here? Your information got collected by a program, and you don’t know if that remains safe. It applies to all the other automated devices at your home like TV, AC, Speakers, fridge, CCTV, and so on.

If Hackers get access to your smart devices, they can remotely control them to extract sensitive information from one of your personal devices, that uses the internet. They can steal your bank details or any sensitive legal document. Not just that, they may even spy on you using your microphone and cameras. It is wild to think that your own ‘so-called’ intelligent devices can be used against you.

The Challenge

Connecting multiple IoT devices is easy. The challenge lies in ensuring security. This is due to the fact that the devices are made by different manufacturers with different configurations. Plus, the hardware and software system also varies offering different levels of security. Some manufacturers completely ignore the security requirements to reduce the cost and be on par with the competition. This makes it difficult to bring forth a security solution that will match up with all the IoT devices.

Hence, for now, the security of your smart home and the IoT devices is in your hands. Some simple safety practices can throw out the risk of falling into the trap of nasty cyberpunk. Below are some ways you can level up the security system of your home IoT devices.

  • Set up Secure Router Connection

Secure your internet connection by changing the default settings of your router. It is the heart of your Smart house. So you wouldn’t want someone to randomly gain access. Set up a new router name and put a strong password with a combination of characters and numbers. Limit the connection of the number of devices to only the ones you have at home. Change it only if a guest wants to use it then set back to previous. It is the first step to enhance security.

  • Plug off The UPnP

Universal plug and play protocol allows IoT devices to automatically discover each other and connect. The configuration is done without any human intervention. But no thanks! We don’t want our devices to be so intelligent that they pick up and connect any unknown device on their own. This opens the door for any kind of cyber attack. In fact, It has already been exploited by hackers. Some of your IoT devices will come with this feature. Make sure to turn it off. 

  • Turn off the Features You Don’t Need

The electronic devices with IoT systems may have multiple features, but most of them aren’t of any use. Talk about your smartphone. Unless you are sharing files, do you have any necessity of keeping the Bluetooth on? This goes for your other devices as well. Also, if you don’t need to use a device frequently, you can keep the power off. It will eliminate the risk of anonymously getting connected to unknown devices and save some electricity.

  • Create Secondary Network

A separate network only for your IoT devices will add that extra layer of protection. So just in case, one gets infected, your other devices stay safe. It will give you some time to solve the issue. Most routers enable multiple networking options along with the parent network. Although they will still connect to the main network, it will become difficult for hackers to penetrate through.

  • Update All the Devises

Smart devices should come with updates of software from time to time. Check if the manufacturer provides regular updates. Keeping your devices updated would mean greater software security as developers are regularly fixing the glitches and improving the security patch in with every new update. If you keep using the old one, you are compromising with security as, by that time, the hackers may have already figured out a way to infiltrate through the old version.

  • No Open WI-FI

You might want to check on some home activities when you are out in public. Since your Smartphone is connected to the home IoT devices, you can easily get the information. For that, you will require the internet. Public internet is through an open WI-FI system. A lot of unknown devices are connected. It’s easy to bait for hackers. Also, there is a risk of malware and viruses automatically downloading on your phone. To avoid all that, use your mobile internet or wait till you reach home.

  • Change the Old Router

You must be updating your smart devices to the latest version which generally comes with better functionality and features. But using that same old router kept in a dusty corner. 75% of IoT cyber-attacks happen through the router, according to Symantec Data. Like the other devices, routers need an up-gradation. With time, a better model shows up in the market, which enhances the security to some degree. After a few years of usage, it is advisable to invest in a good router. A WAP 2 encryption is the best way to keep cyberattacks at bay. Before buying, ask if WAP 2 encryption is enabled.

Until the tech developers figure out a way to solve the security issue, you have to take the matter in your hands and act promptly. So, secure your smart home and IoT devices by following these simple practices.

Eddy
Author

Eddy is a computer specialist and a technology geek, He has an exceptional experience is programming and analyzing any new technology entering the market.