Protect your connected home from hackers

Could your connected home be hacked and taken over?

The answer is a resounding YES. How can you make sure that this does not happen to you? Here are some basic steps every homeowner should take to improve their home security.

Suggested modifications to your router

Generally, we advise to not use the router as configured out of the box.  Here are some recommendations at the top of our security list:

  • Change the "default" network name on your router.  Home routers/firewalls often set the default SSID to something that describes the specific hardware i.e., (Linksys). From a hacker's perspective, knowing the specific hardware platform that you're attacking makes the job easier.  Use a random, innocuous name. 
  • Change the preset ‘default’ password on your router. These passwords are well known and well documented. Change each admin password to a strong complex password. 
  • When setting passwords, use upper and lowercase characters. Include at least one ‘special’ character to help ensure that brute-force cracking will be harder to do. Do not use any personally identifiable information in the name (i.e., “Smith Family”). 
  • Include ‘hiding’ or do not broadcast the SSID.

Disable guest access

Allowing guests to access your home network may seem like a nice convenient thing to do, however, you should be very wary about allowing any “non-authenticated” users to access your network.

Use the WPA2 to secure the network

The older WEP protocol has serious weaknesses and is easily compromised. While WPA2 isn’t infallible, it does provide a higher level of security and is significantly harder to compromise.

Once the Wi-Fi network is secured

Take a look at each home automation device you're installing. Securing specific devices will depend on the individual capabilities of each specific device. At a minimum, the approach should include the following:

  • Generic email - If the device has the capability to notify you via email, set up a generic email account. Do not use your personal email account or email server.
  • Mobile security - Install mobile security software on the devices used to control the home automation devices (i.e.; mobile phone). It's often easier to exploit a mobile application instead of hacking the device directly.
  • Patching and updating firmware -Check for firmware updates on a regular basis and install updates as soon as possible.
  • Internet access - If the home automation device doesn’t need access to the internet, disable its access within your firewall.

In addition to preventing hacking, you'll want to make sure you prevent other equipment losses from happening in your home. Click below, fill out our form, and we'll contact you with information for your connected home.

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