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How to Secure your Smart Homes and Internet of Things

by Roveen Anyango
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Our devices are becoming increasingly connected to the internet and it is no wonder many people are taking to using Internet of Things (IoT) in their homes. By using the smart devices that connect to the internet, you have a level of convenience that seems surreal. With IoT, you can get your coffee ready in an instant, heat your food in the oven before you get home, control the temperature in your home from anywhere, lock all doors from faraway and such.

But a big mistake that many who take up IoT make is not securing them well enough. These devices store personal data and thus, are a security risk. Here is how to secure them.

Disconnect IoT When not is use

While not foolproof security, disconnecting your Internet of Things when not in use can minimize vulnerability to some extent. When away, your TV or fridge don’t need to be connected to the internet. So, disconnect them, unless your fridge needs internet to function.

Use different passwords for each device

Using one password for your different IoT devices means that you are opening the door for hackers. Ensure that each new device that you connect to the internet has different, unique and strong passwords. Since these items are in your home, having them written down on a diary will be great. Since you will be using these devices at home only, there is no risk of someone in the streets coming across the diary anyhow so you are safe. However, do not store the passwords on your phone or computers.

Secure your Wi-Fi router

Your Wi-Fi router is the gateway to your Internet of Things devices. If hackers gain access to your router, they can then jeopardize every device connected to it and even the whole network.

So, in addition to securing the IoT devices, also ensure your Wi-Fi router is well protected. Change the router’s default login credentials and enable the router’s firewall. Use strong passwords too and regularly change the Wi-Fi password.

Update the firmware and software

Firmware and software updates keep you protected with the latest security patches of antimalware and antivirus and minimizes the risk of cyber-attacks. So, check for regular updates on your Internet of Things devices and always update them.

IoT devices are becoming very important in our daily lives and thus, this makes it a perfect ground for hackers. Therefore, take appropriate action to stop them from reaching your data.

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