Ensure your smart devices are safe from hackers
Here are some tips to help make your home network and smart devices more secure:
Protect your network
- Name your router and give it a strong password. Do not use the name and password set by the manufacturer.
- Choose a strong encryption method, such as WPA2, you set up Wi-Fi networks. This will help keep your network and communications secure.2
- Use a firewall designed to protect smart devices.3
- Keep your router’s firmware up to date.4
- Many routers allow you to create multiple networks, each with its own name and password. Creating a secondary network allows you to separate smart devices and your personal devices, such as your laptop or phone.
- When guests need to use your Wi-Fi, it is more secure to give them access to the secondary network.5
- Established brands tend to employ better security measures when designing their products and are more likely to release software patches and fixes if vulnerabilities are discovered.6
- Check the certification. The “Works with Alexa” and “Works with Apple HomeKit” badges show that the device meets certain standards in responsiveness, reliability and functionality.2
- Read reviews to see what others say about the device’s security before making a purchase.
- Regularly update the software to keep it protected from malware and viruses. This may require registering the device with the manufacturer. Also remember to update corresponding apps.7
- Look for devices that have built-in security measures, such as Z-Wave, which implements a high level of encryption to safeguard against hacking.5
- Review the default privacy and security settings and change them as necessary, because some default settings could benefit the manufacturer more than they benefit you.2
- Pay close attention to security devices such as cameras and smart locks to make sure they have all the proper safeguards in place.3
- Stay in control of your smart hub devices by learning how to disable their microphones when you need more privacy.3
- Before you sell, donate or recycle smart devices, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove all of your data.
- Conduct a factory reset.7 Some devices require a button-press, while others allow you to do it from the app.
- Make sure that the device is no longer available through the app and then remove the app from your phone if it’s no longer needed.6