Smart Home Security – Beware of Device Hacking

by | Dec 19, 2017 | Electronics

George Orwell’s line from his 1984 novel, “Big Brother is watching you,” might not be as futuristic as you may think. Though it’s obviously not Big Brother watching these days, it’s the techie thief or hacker who’s attempting to find ways to steal from you. Your smart home security could be highjacked without you even knowing it, and someone could rifle through your accounts or watch your every move in your home. The professionals here at Dawson Security Group are seeing it more and more here in Spring, TX.

How Does This Work?
It’s definitely nice to be able to control your home’s inside temperature from your smart phone or to be able to program your front-door-lock code for the new plumber from your tablet device. But you do need to take security precautions to protect yourself from hackers. Unfortunately, preventing these hackers from getting in to your home devices isn’t the top priority for home-device manufacturers. So that means it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

In your home, you may have several Internet of Things (IoT) devices––a network of devices such as cameras, home appliances, or physical devices that are able to connect and exchange data via the internet. Hackers are now able to hack into these IoT and do as they please. Smart home security is especially a hot trend, since they can hack into your smart home security camera and watch your comings and goings. And then once they’re in to one device, since all your smart devices are connected via your router and the internet, they can make their way into all of them. But don’t feel there’s nothing you can do about it or let this deter you from installing smart home security. There are steps you can take to protect yourself.

What to Do About It
Here are some steps you can take, recommended by many security experts, that can help protect you and your home:

1. Secure your wireless network. If you’re still using the old Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol, change it to the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol. The WEP is easily hacked though it’s still widely used.
2. Change default passwords and user names. Don’t use the manufacturer default passwords and user names that come with your routers and smart devices. Hackers are adept at breaking into those, since they’re manufacturer issued. Name your network something not identifiable directly to you, like “Bakery Bus” instead of “Smiths Domain.” And come up with a password that is complex, using a combination of capitalized letters, numbers, and symbols, again not identifiable to you. Be sure to change your change your passwords regularly as well. Maybe stick with a few that you rotate on a regular basis.
3. Create two or more different Wi-Fi networks (if your router can handle that). Use one network for all your smart home devices and the other for all computers, smartphones, and tablets. Keeping these devices separate can keep your shopping, general web use, and banking information separate from your smart devices, making it that much tougher for would-be hackers.
4. Regularly manage software updates. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of smart home security devices aren’t going to regularly notify you of their software updates. That’s your job. So be sure to check their sites on a regular basis for updates, and then take the time to install them.
5. Install security software wherever possible. Try to install security software on mobile devices used to control IoT devices. Hackers would rather go through an app on your device to get to your garage-door opener or doorbell video camera than hack into the device itself. It’s easier.

Of course these are just a few of the most widely recommended tips for securing your smart home security devices from hackers. There are definitely more steps you could take to protect yourself. Our Dawson Security Group professionals can help you take the necessary steps to keep your home and information safe. Call us at 281-364-0500 anytime to start the process.

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Dawson Security Group, Inc. offers business and homeowners residential, commercial, key, safe, lock, in-house auto, electronic, and hardware services at their location in The Woodlands and in surrounding Texas communities. Visit the service area page to learn more. For questions and service, call us at 281-364-0500 or request service online.

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