Smart home systems are increasingly taking place in our homes and making our daily life easier. However, we should not forget that they also contain a lot of our personal information. This makes them perfect targets for cybercriminals who want to steal our data.
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5 smart home security threats you should know about
Several studies and researches show that a smart home with multiple devices connected to the internet can be exposed to more than 12,000 unknown hacking or browsing attacks every week. Despite these huge risks, the global smart home market is constantly growing. In the future, more and more people will buy smart devices for their homes. Accordingly, cyber attacks on smart homes are expected to increase accordingly.
It is not possible to predict exactly when a smart home device will be hacked. However, you do have the ability to be prepared and implement preventive measures to limit the threat. So, let’s take a closer look at the major smart home security threats of recent times.
1- Identity theft
The most common threat to smart home devices is identity theft. Cybercriminals can attack a smart device company, and if successful, hackers can access the personal information of all device users.
When setting up a smart device, take care to share only minimal personal information. This way, you can limit the risk of hackers accessing your personal information and using it for malicious activities if the company that supplied the device is hacked.
If a smart device company reports a data breach, follow the company’s instructions to respond to the incident as soon as possible. In most cases, free credit monitoring services are offered to rectify the attack immediately, to respond faster if a person’s data is stolen.
2- Tracking your location
Smart home devices are generally designed to protect your personal information. But in some cases, a smart device can create a security breach in your home, allowing cybercriminals to spy on you and track your location.
Set up a separate network for your smart home devices to avoid location tracking. This network can help you hide your home address from cybercriminals. You can use the network for all your smart home devices, regardless of whether multiple family members use it or you live alone. Also, be wary of phishing attacks that may affect your smart home devices. Cybercriminals have recently used phishing attacks to target Amazon Alexa and Google Home users.
Beware of suspicious emails or messages about smart home devices. If you don’t know the sender or aren’t sure where it came from, don’t click any links or download attachments from within the message. Otherwise, you risk launching malware that can infiltrate your smart home devices and allow hackers to access your home address and other personal information.
Another way to protect your personal data is to use a reliable VPN to be installed on the router that creates the network that smart home devices connect to. In this way, all browsing traffic and related data will be encrypted.
3- Home intrusion
Smart home locks, security cameras, and other security devices can help you live with peace of mind. However, these security devices are vulnerable to threats and cyber attacks.
In the event of a breach, hackers can disable these devices. Cybercriminals can then rob your home or let their accomplices do it for them. They may even lock you in the house.
In order to correct this situation, it is recommended to install physical devices that are not connected to the internet in addition to smart security devices. This way, you can be sure that your home will be safe from intrusion, even in the event of a cyber breach.
4- Unpatched or outdated software
Software that manages smart home devices needs to be updated frequently. Failure to update this software may not fix some vulnerabilities that could also be exploited by cybercriminals.
Make sure you have the latest security patches installed on your devices. You can set automatic security updates for most of the smart home devices in your home.
You can also request email or SMS alerts from home appliance companies so you can receive constant notifications of software updates released over time.
5- Third-Party Application Vulnerabilities
Many smart device companies allow you to use third-party applications to control your smart home devices via your smartphone or tablet. In this case, you need to give permission to use the smart home app on your mobile device. If your smartphone or tablet falls into the wrong hands, anyone can use it to control your smart home devices.
Make sure you use only authorized smart home device apps. Also, set separate permissions to perform different functions with each smart home device app. In light of the above, if you are considering buying or already using smart home devices, be sure to prioritize security.
First image resource: Pixabay