Gadgets are becoming smarter day by day but they can’t outsmart humans. With gradual growth in technology, we are surrounded by smart devices connected over a network. This network is known as the internet. You can see for yourself that every device is connected to the internet. Be it your smartphone or your smart appliances. This adds a level of comfort and convenience at different levels. However, with increasing features and network connections, each of these appliances and electronics is vulnerable to hacking. That is why you need a defense mechanism to prevent your appliances from cybercriminals.
IoT or the internet of things is a neural network that connects every device to your smartphones or each other. So, you can control your smart refrigerator or air-conditioning systems or even lights. But even these connections can make your life miserable. When a cyber-criminal hack your appliances, they can access all your data and map your pattern. This can be very dangerous because your digital footprint is like DNA. They can use your data for any folly and you will be at risk. So, you need to be very cautious when using IoT devices. Thus, we have the top 5 techniques and tips to secure smart devices at your home.
- Check your device settings and reconfigure them
You need to check the device settings when you are building a network of appliances at your home. Every smart appliance has a default username and password. These are provided at the manufacturing facility for testing. Every appliance has the same default usernames and passwords. This makes the work of the cybercriminal very easy. They just need to know the default settings and they can micromanage your systems very easily.
So, what should you do to safeguard them? First of all, change the default credentials and make a note of both old and new credentials in a diary. This will help you if you need to factory reset the device. However, please be sure to know with whom you share those credentials.
Secondly, check the default security settings that come with the appliance. You need to change the privacy settings accordingly. If you are not well-versed with that, connect with the internet or any close friend who has an idea. You can also change the default settings to a more private one that strengthens your device security.
Make sure that you use different passwords for different appliances. Lastly, disable the features that you don’t want to use. It is the human tendency to keep all the features open. This allows hackers to inject a bug or virus to affect your appliance.
- Use strong passwords for your router
A router is just like a front door to your house and a password is a lock. The stronger the lock, the better is the security. So, when you are installing a router, change the whole configuration to a private network and select your bandwidth region. Most of the manufacturers provide the SSID to relate to their brand name or model number. It makes hacking very easy. However, you can make this a little tough. Change the SSID name to something unique. Don’t put your name or house number as SSID.
As you set up your wifi network access, build a strong passphrase including alphabets, numbers, and special characters. This helps you to attain better security than passwords like 123456. We recommend you to use a strong encryption method like WPA to secure your connection. However, you should also bifurcate the network into two. One should be your personal use network and the other guest network. Visitors, friends, and others may log into the guest network and your private data is safe from vulnerabilities.
Thus, anybody else will not get access to your smart IoT devices and will keep them secure.
- Turn on the authentication process
An authentication or verification process can help your device identify it’s you and not some impersonator. This includes you to set up a 2-step verification process. In this process, you will receive an OTP (one-time-password) to your cellphone. This ensures the bad guys to stay away from your device. Because every time, the bad guy tries to enter into the network, you will receive a notification and unless they have your phone, they won’t be able to enter.
Moreover, try to avoid connecting your smartphones to the public Wi-Fi network. This also leaves your connected devices at risk. Public Wi-Fi does not use strong encryption methods due to which it becomes easy for the hackers to hack into your system. But you can use a VPN (a virtual private network) if it is very urgent for you to connect with open routers.
- Don’t use the devices if not at home
The general idea is to switch off the device from the network when not in use. It is similar to that of switching off lights and fans when leaving the house. This provides better security for your devices. Most of the cyber attacks happen when you are not aware. And it is impossible to know what’s happening at your home when you are not there. So, you can disconnect the devices from the network and reconnect them when you are at home.
Many apps provide a unified platform to switch off the connection for these devices. But disconnecting the router from the socket is a well-established practice. And it has yielded satisfactory results. So, make sure you disconnect the router before leaving the house.
- Update your devices regularly
Another great tip is to keep your systems updated. Experts from the technology segment recommend this practice. The updates help the system to get malware and spyware updates. This acts as an antivirus. It blocks any suspicious plug-ins from installing it and will ask for your actions. Make sure that you are not installing any feature from any source. Only download updates that are directly notified by the manufacturers. The device makers work to develop software to keep your devices safe. You can also do your part by updating them in the system. You can also search for any new updates on the manufacturer’s website to keep your devices safe.
Moreover, you can turn on the auto-update mode. But you need to keep an eye on the actions accordingly. So, now you have the fundamental tips to secure your IoT device. Thus, you can enjoy the lavishness and comfort of connecting the devices that make your homestay convenient as well as secure.