A smart home can make your life much easier than you think, but can smart home be hacked? You automate everything; you do not need to switch appliances manually.
You spent money on creating automation at your house; now, you can control your home from your office or anywhere because of this automation.
But what if I say it can set your privacy at risk?
Although, all the smart devices at your house are operating with an ethernet or WiFi connection. So, what if someone gets access to your smart devices through the internet?
It can be worse if we imagine someone is monitoring us, and we even did not know. If someone has access to security cameras you installed at your home, he can spy on you without letting you know.
The security system of your smart home can go against you and can show up all of your privacy to someone.
At the same time, we cannot neglect the advantages we get with these smart appliances. These smart robotic appliances make our life much easier.
It means you need to consider your security and privacy as well while taking benefits from smart home devices.
So, can smart home be hacked?
Let’s jump deep into the topic and explore the ways of using these smart home appliances without letting your security at risk.
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Security of Smart Homes
Every device or account on the internet can be a target for hackers. But you need to understand every online service provider has its online security system.
Google has 1.5 billion users worldwide, but we did not see the hacking cases to any of the Gmail accounts in our contact circle. It is because of Google’s security.
The problem arises when you put your passwords or private details on public channels.
For example, you might be a YouTuber and reviewing one of your smart devices. While reviewing, you might show the device’s private details like service or brand codes. That can be a starting trigger for anyone.
Similarly, you can post pictures of the device on social media, and someone can easily get a starting point to hack into your home.
I am not saying you should not make a review website on your smart home or publish pictures on social media. I want to clear you, it can be a risk to your smart home if you share private details of your smart home devices in public.
Similarly, when you are using poor services or brands that might compromise your privacy. As I give an example of Google, now compare it with any third party or local email service.
If you are using a low-quality email service, the chances of getting hacked will be higher. Because this service will have a low-security optimization.
Smart home brands may charge you extra, but they will provide you a few extra layers of security for your home. I always recommend using trusted and famous brands, especially when there is a security risk.
So, the security of your smart home can be at risk; but it always depends on multiple factors.
Is Home Automation Secure?
Most of the time security is not the top priority of the IoT manufacturer that makes a smart home less secure.
So is your information is secure with home automation?
Some home automation gadgets come with best security practices, just like bank-level encryption, while many lack even the basic level of security.
At the end of the day, it depends on the devices you use and how you use them.
Can Smart Home be Hacked?
In making a smart home, all the devices need to be connected to smart control and apps via the internet. This means hackers can hijack the functions of these devices without letting you know.
If we see the data, then yes, smart homes can be hacked.
We see multiple cases of hacking into smart homes in the last couple of years. But some manufacturers of smart homes have indicated that the demand for their smart products has not declined. This shows people are transforming their homes into smart homes continuously.
Most smart home brands are working to improve the security and privacy of their products. As mentioned earlier, top brands already take care of your security and privacy. There is less chance of getting hack the top brands.
Do not worry, you can still use your smart home devices. Please continue reading for a better and clear understanding.
Reasons for Hacking & How to Secure Smart Home Devices
There can be multiple reasons they can hack a smart home. It is important to understand those basic points that hacker uses to get into your smart home. So, if you control these points, you can secure your smart home.
Here are the reasons for smart home security risks.
Compromised Passwords: One of the most common attempts from hackers is to try the homeowner’s password. If they got the password of yours, it means they can log in to your smart home.
There are multiple ways hackers can hack your password. It may be, you carelessly show your password on social media or YouTube while any Video log.
Most of the brand’s data is publicly available on the internet. Hackers can pick up the information from and can reach your smart home. Or if the hacker is expert enough, he can break the security of your house by using his advanced skills.
So try to avoid sharing or showing private info regarding your smart home to anyone. And always change the original passwords you get from the manufacturer and use a powerful combination of words and numbers.
Outdated Firmware: Firmware is software that operates IoT gadgets. Companies roll out recent versions to release additional features and update their product’s security layer.
Hackers also got familiar with the security layers of older versions. So, always update the firmware of your smart home devices.
Brand’s Data Leakage: Sometimes hackers do not target individual houses or devices, they target the company’s server. Whenever they get the company’s data, they got every individual who is using their product.
To overcome this possibility, make sure you use only the famous and recommended brand’s gadgets. Every company has its own security layers but the famous ones invest a lot in their security systems just to protect the privacy of their users.
Outdated Gadgets: See how smartphone companies updating their operating systems and launching new devices? It is because the older devices are now easy to hack into.
While purchasing any smart home gadget, make sure you are buying only the latest one.
Smart Home IoT
Internet of things (IoT) is a broad term that represents the devices that use the internet to transfer information to other devices. This happens through smart sensors that collect information, process it, and send it to another device via the internet.
Today, most smart IoT home automation gadgets enable you to command them through apps and even voice commands.
Smart home automation is done by using these advanced IoT. By using these devices, you can automate your home lighting, security, air conditioning, and much more.
With automation, I mean you can schedule things and can control them via mobile app or voice command. To control your smart home via voice command, you can use any smart speaker like Amazon Echo (3rd Gen).
Because IoT uses the internet to process information, there are chances it can be a potential target for hackers. Let’s see how to secure IoT devices.
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How to Secure IoT Devices
Follow the instructions and tips to secure your IoT and smart home. Here are the IoT security best practices.
Secure Your Passwords: Password is a manageable way to hack into any system. If you successfully secure your passwords, it will make it difficult for anyone to get into your home automation.
Sometimes we unconditionally share information over social media that we shouldn’t. Avoid sharing model codes, passwords, and other sensitive information over social media or vlogs.
Always change the original password and other security credentials. Create a strong password with a combination of bold letters and digits.
The same rule applies to your network provider. Make sure you also change the WiFi router’s password.
Enable Two Factor Authentication: Along with a strong password, you can also authorize two-factor authentication on the services that support it. This will be an extra protection layer with a password.
It will require your password and the second form of authentication. Usually, it is a code made via an authenticator app or sent via text message.
So, even if the hacker got your password, they won’t be able to log in to your account without that code.
Replace Outdated Routers: You may have updated your laptop or phone last month or previous. But when you last time updated your internet router?
An aged router means aged security protocols. It can be an easy access point for hackers.
Update Firmware: Firmware is a program that powers your router and another internet of things (IoT). Companies roll out new versions of their firmware to correct bugs and to release extra features over the internet.
Many devices get updated automatically with the internet, but others require you to check for updates and click “update” if there are any.
Do not ignore these updates, running an older firmware version could leave your device vulnerable to hackers looking to exploit unpatched flaws.
Purchase Recent IoT: You might notice smartphone companies release their newer models every year. This is because the new model has new security layers as well as additional features.
Just like mobile phone companies, smart home technology companies also come with a newer model of their every product. So, when you are aiming to buy any, do a little research on it and buy only the latest version.
Consider Professional Installation: You might know before the leading home automation companies offer a professional installation. Because of third-party installation services, your smart home can be hacked.
This is because they will not be sincere with your privacy and smart home security. Further, there are chances they can give your data to others or share it over the internet.
The need for Factory Reset: If you decided to change or upgrade your IoT gadgets, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidance to delete all of your data from the previous device.
Otherwise, there are chances the person who gets your used device may automatically get all of your data or interact with other devices on your network.
Unplug devices that aren’t in use: If you are going on vacation or going out of town for a few days, shut off any devices that won’t be running.
It will save energy and make them unavailable to hackers.
Leave important appliances like security cameras, a video doorbell, and a thermostat on. You can unplug your smart speaker, vacuums, etc.