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Threats to Smart Home Security and How to Counter Them

Threats to Smart Home Security and How to Counter Them

Home intrusion, location tracking, and identity theft are not the things you think of when you buy a smart lock, baby camera, or any other IoT device. Unfortunately, if you don’t know anything about cybersecurity, that’s what you’re projecting to the world. The internet is a scary place if you don’t know how to use it safely.

A freshly installed smart home can be targeted by more than 12,000 attacks per week. Because it happens digitally, it’s invisible to the human eye. Just imagine how it would feel if 14 people lined up every hour to try and unlock your front door. That’s what’s happening to unsecured smart devices.

Here are the most popular security threats for your smart home and the way to prevent them from happening.

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Home intrusion

The purpose of a surveillance camera is to increase your security so you know if someone trespasses on your property or tries to break into your home. However, criminals are becoming more innovative. Hackers can now breach your surveillance camera or smart lock and enter your home using their phones. They can come in and out, delete the footage, and know when you’re at work.

One of the solutions here is to install an alarm in addition to your smart security gadgets that’s offline and works independently from the other devices.

Location tracking

The most expensive thing in the world today is data. Companies are paying billions of dollars to have access to emails, buyer personas, digital footprints, and locations. Smart devices don’t have the level of security as a basic desktop computer with a firewall, not to mention an antivirus or a VPN. This makes them the ideal target for bad actors trying to get a hold of your location.

If you want to avoid being tracked, you could create a separate network for the IoT devices. That way, your main address will be hidden.

Identity theft

There are two ways in which a hacker can steal your information. The first is by attacking you directly and getting the information from your devices. The second is by attacking the company that made the gadgets and gaining access to their database. Both scenarios are possible.

To avoid identity theft, make sure to input as little personal information as you can. What’s even better, you can create a fake email with fake info just for your smart devices. That way, your real identity will be safe even if a malicious breach happens.

Outdated software

Everyone hates updates because they seem like a waste of time. We know. You’re waiting for half an hour, and increased security is the only thing that changes. That isn’t a visible change, so it doesn’t seem like a lot. But in reality, that’s the main feature that fends off hackers and cyber attackers.

Whenever you see a new update, you should be happy and install it immediately to prevent bad actors from trying to breach your devices. Adding a text or email alert for these updates is a great way not to forget them.

How to protect yourself?

Even though everyone thinks they’re following the best cybersecurity practices, the reality is quite the opposite. Most people will fall for socially engineered phishing scams. That has happened to users who installed Google Home and Amazon Alexa products. Hackers will send an email that will look like it’s from the official company forcing you to click a link.

Going for the click is a split-second decision that doesn’t have an immediate consequence, and you will only realize a few weeks down the line when your home gets burglarized. Always make sure to double-check who the sender is, look for typos in the text, and by default, don’t click on any links.

Is there another solution?

Every smart home will be unsafe unless you install a secure VPN and protect your devices. Virtual private networks encrypt the IP addresses and the data you send online to ensure no personal information leaks.

The encryption goes through multiple servers and can’t be breached. Digital eavesdropping by cybercriminals will become impossible since the data will be protected.

Even if a hacker gets their hands on your data, the geolocation feature from the VPN will make them think you’re in a different country or state.

This content was originally published here.

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