Your home’s WiFi network allows you to connect smart home technology, computers, tablets, smartphones, and baby monitors, but it’s also creating a loophole that makes it easy for hackers to attack all of those devices and put your family’s safety at risk.
Recent news stories illustrate numerous ways hackers can act once they gain access to the home’s WiFi network.
A mother learned that her $34 Fredi baby monitor had been hacked when her smartphone alerted the camera’s movement while she was eating dinner with her husband. The woman later explained that the camera was pointing to the bed, where she used to breastfeed her son several times a day.
Later last year hackers infiltrated Houston couple’s Nest monitoring system and threatened to kidnap their infant. Other suburban Chicago couple reported that hacker uttered profanities, spewed, and accessed their Nest thermostat, turning the temperature up to 90 degrees.
The lightning pace at which technology is expanding makes it difficult for users to protect themselves, their homes, and their families.
2 Easy Tips To Protect Your Smart Home
Here are a few essential tips on how to protect your high-tech home from the hackers.
- Use unique passwords and 2FA (two-factor authentication)
If hacking were a lottery, the ability to access someone’s in-home WiFi connection would be a jackpot. Simply put, hackers who access admin console can do everything their imagination allows, including locking you out.
Passwords of WiFi routers are often left as the factory defaults, meaning almost anyone can log into them. If a family wants to keep malicious agents from breaking into IoT devices, they should factory-reset their home router and create a unique password with two-factor authentication (2FA).
Change a password into a random string of letters, numbers, punctuation marks or even emojis, and make it at least 20 characters long. As much as we’d like to, one password cannot last forever, so it’s best to change it every few months.
- Strengthen your WiFi encryption
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a smart thermostat, baby monitors or home assistant, data of most of the smart devices travel through cyberspace without any encryption. Savvy hackers can easily gain access to one’s data stream by infiltrating its home router.
The most advanced way to secure all of IoT devices against unwanted connections is using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The protection offered by VPN helps to connect to the internet and secure data by sending it via an encrypted tunnel.
A VPN also hides your IP address as an additional safety measure from tracking and identification. The only way anyone can gain access to data that travels through a VPN is with access to a key to decode it, which is literally impossible.
During the last few years, we’ve seen nightmarish instances of hacking into IoT devices from baby cameras to home alarm systems. Parents need to implement some changes and routines to protect their family’s safety from intruders and hackers. Otherwise, we are stepping backwards in the evolution of the smart home.
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