Guest access, secure firewall: 6 tips to protect your smart home from hackers

While you benefit from a centralised smart control system, many OTT (over-the-top) players track our interests to generate the best recommendations.
Smart home
Smart home
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A major apprehension about the smart home technology is regarding privacy and security within the vicinity of one’s home. It is believed that some companies not only record our private conversations but also track our everyday routine and behaviour patterns. This can be dangerous as we know that in the world we live in currently, ‘data is king’. And data in the wrong hands can be detrimental to society and the economy. 

But most smart home systems are a closed network which is owned entirely by you. With a centralised smart control system, you benefit from the complete protection of your personal data and valuable information. 

Having said that, many OTT (over-the-top) players track our interests regarding the shows you watch or the music you listen, to generate the best recommendations on what you might like to watch or listen. Similarly, smart homes systems are trying to understand the usage patterns for making your lives easier and economical by recommending scheduled patterns for the lights or geysers. This can be useful for you and for the environment by saving energy. 

Also, hacking into a smart product such as a smart lock or light is highly impossible unless the manufacturers have poorly designed the hardware itself. However, it is imperative to keep your smart home safe and here are a few tips:

Wi-Fi router

Your Wi-Fi router should be secured safely. There are two ways to access Wi-Fi router: 1. Connecting to a Wi-Fi network 2. Get access directly to the router.

Always both the routes have to be kept very secure by a strong password and you shouldn’t use common passwords to avoid becoming a victim of dictionary attack (A dictionary attack is an attempt to guess passwords by using well-known words or phrases.) Most used password is “Password” itself or your name, names of your pets, date of birth, etc.

Smart home app access

The smart home apps that control the devices have to be accessed securely and the credentials shouldn’t be shared with anybody who is unknown, which can jeopardise the security of the home. 

Guest access

We all love having people around us and host guests at home. While sharing the smart home app access with the guests, make sure to always securely share the access only through smart home app and keep all guests in a guest network to ensure limited access can be given to the right guests.

Separate network

While being excited to experience the joy of smart living, make sure to connect all the smart devices on a separate network in the home so they are always connected and if the regular network is compromised, smart home network is still up and running. 

Secure firewall

When trying to access the home devices like switches, plugs from outside the home network, make sure the right firewalls are installed and only authorised users/devices can get into the smart home network, which will help in reducing the front door intruders. 

Using safe networks

While accessing the smart home devices remotely, always make sure of connecting through a safe network instead of publicly used Wi-Fi networks. Public networks are highly insecure for the devices and gives opportunity to hackers to gain unauthorised access to your device or smart home app.

Divyateja Kondeti is Co-founder & CEO of SmartDEN, a home automation provider. 

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