Tips for Properly Securing Your Smart Devices So They’re Not Hacked

Tips for Properly Securing Your Smart Devices So They're Not Hacked

The advances made in smart home devices have been pretty significant in the last several years. Today’s Alexa voice speakers, smart doorbell cameras and even smart ovens, now rival the best of what the Jetsons had.

Smart home automation allows people to shave time off their busy days, plus do cool things like change the color of their lights according to their mood, and even save money on their energy bill.

US households currently have an average of 10 internet connected devices each.

But each of those internet-connected devices could be an open invitation to a hacker to not only get into your home network, but actually spy on your family through an audio or camera-enabled device.

Anything that connects to the internet can be susceptible to being hacked if it’s not set up and secured correctly.

98% of all smart device traffic is unencrypted, making it easy for a hacker to intercept all types of personal data.

A few other eye-opening statistics from the 2020 Unit 42 IoT Threat report are:

  • 57% of smart devices are vulnerable to mid or high-level attacks
  • Security cameras account for 33% of all IoT security incidents
  • Wireless printers account for 24% of IoT security incidents

How Can I Enjoy My Smart Devices Without Being Hacked?

One of the scariest stories about home smart devices happened over the holidays last year. A family installed a new smart security camera in their children’s room. A hacker gained access just a few days later and began talking to their 8-year old.

Poor set up is usually the cause of this type of incident. People are excited to get their new gadget set up and don’t follow certain security practices to ensure it’s safe.

How can you avoid having an unwanted intruder hack into your smart home devices? Here are several tips for keeping your IoT devices secure so you can enjoy them worry-free.

Change Your Username/Password Immediately

Some reports show that hackers try getting into IoT devices within 5 minutes of them being connected to the internet! That doesn’t leave you much time to change the login.

Hackers have a list of the default logins for these devices, which is how they get in so fast.

Instead of telling yourself that you’ll “change that password later,” change it as soon as possible during the setup process. Changing the login should be one of the first things you do.

Ensure You Have a Strong Password

Many people think, “Why would a hacker bother with our smart speaker?” so they choose an easy password that the whole family can remember rather than a strong one.

There are millions of hackers out there and they have plenty of creative ways to get some type of benefit from hacking into your Alexa speaker or any other smart device.

Make sure you use a strong password to secure your device, that includes at least 10 characters and a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Use a Non-Descript Device Name

Each device on your network has a name. It could be “Mom’s iPad” or “HP-XYZ Printer.” If your device name tells a hacker exactly where your device is or what type of brand/model you have, you’ve just made it much easier for them to attack you.

Don’t use your address, family name, or device specific information in the name. Choose a device name that would be confusing to a hacker and that only you and your family know what it relates to.

Disable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)

Many smart devices include a feature called Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). This was designed to make it easy for a smart device to quickly connect to other devices, but unfortunately, it also rolls out a red carpet for hackers who often use the feature to breach devices.

Turn Off Any Settings You Don’t Need

It’s a good idea to disable any smart device settings that you don’t need. Each additional feature you have “on” could be a potential vulnerability. You reduce your risk by turning any features off that you’re not using.

Keep Your Device Firmware Updated

Often, people plug in a router or other IoT device, install any updates that it mentions during setup, and then never think about updates again.

Smart devices need to be updated regularly just like your computer operating system. They often receive security patches along with feature updates that seal up newly found vulnerabilities that hackers have exploited.

Sleep Easy by Having Quantum PC Do Your Device Setup

You can sleep easy and ensure your family is protected by having our team of experts set up your smart home automation devices. We’ll ensure they’re set up securely, correctly, and that you know how to use them.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.