It’s expected that the global smart home market will grow to over $53 billion by 2022, and this is not in the least surprising. IoT devices present in our homes offer convenience, efficiency, and pure fun. The new technology has even improved our home security, with smart door locks, smart surveillance cameras, and more. However, while our overall security is improved, unsecured IoT devices can pose serious cybersecurity threats, hacking being a major concern. Here, Cornflake, the home smart technology integrator takes a look at what you need to do to ensure better home security.

Secure the Network

A smart home is only as secure as the network it’s connected to. Your Wi-Fi router is what connects your home to the rest of the world, so it’s essential to protect it.
The first step is to change the name of the router. The name provided by the manufacturer could reveal information about the make and model of the router, and anyone with some basic hacking skills could use that information to break into the network. Come up with a unique name that isn’t personally identifiable.
Setting up a guest network for any visitors is in your best interest, as it will give you more privacy since that network doesn’t tie into any of the IoT devices in your home.

Change the Passwords

Most smart home devices come with a default username/password, but the passwords provided are often not the strongest. If a hacker gets the password of a single device, they get access to your entire network, compromising all the devices, including PCs and smartphones.
When changing the password, make sure it’s strong and unique – no reusing or recycling old passwords. Getting a password manager can help you easily generate and keep track of all the passwords.

Update the Software as Needed

Most of us are accustomed to automatic software updates on our smartphones and laptops, but many smart home devices need to be updated manually. Software updates don’t only provide interesting new features – they come with important security patches and bug fixes.
Using outdated software poses cybersecurity threats, as cybercriminals might be aware of its vulnerabilities and exploit them. If your devices aren’t updated automatically, make sure to check the manufacturer’s website for software updates frequently.

Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi

One of the greatest advantages of owning smart home devices is that most of them can be accessed remotely. However, accessing them through public networks is best avoided. Public Wi-Fi carries certain risks with it. Since anyone can connect to the network, anyone can easily get a glimpse into all the activity on the network.
If public Wi-Fi is the only option, investing in VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be of great help. VPNs essentially create a private connection to the public network and use encryption to ensure the safety of that connection.

If you’re among the 56% of homeowners with smart home devices, following these four tips will allow you to rest easy knowing your smart home is as secure as it can be.

This article was written by Cornflake, a London-based company offering bespoke services in everything from home automation to home cinema installation.