When you’re shopping for new appliances and devices for your home, you’ll undoubtedly come across the term “smart home”. It’s one that’s rather popular nowadays, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. The concept of a smart home aims to give us a more convenient and more secure home to live in, and the price you’ll pay for all the devices isn’t overly expensive either.
However, if you’re going to be investing in a smart home (or you already have), you might have some security concerns. We aren’t talking about concerns that have to do with your home security system, but instead with the way the smart home works and any potential vulnerabilities.
And quite frankly, we understand that. But there are a couple of things that you could be doing if you want to improve the security of your smart home that would basically eliminate any concerns you might have, so let’s take a look at them.
Make Sure Your Internet Network Is Secure
If there’s one thing that any and all smart home devices have in common, it’s that they all make use of your home’s internet connection. Therefore, it would make sense for a potential intruder to try to gain access to them via that same internet connection. How do you stop them from getting access? You ensure your network is as secure as possible.
You’ll want to have access to your router for this because you’ll need to change a few settings. First things first, the password to access your wireless network should be unique. Don’t resort to using the same password across multiple accounts or logins, and instead come up with something that’s unique and complex enough that nobody can just guess it randomly. While we’re at the password, chances are you’ll get the option to choose between WEP and WPA/WPA2 for encryption – go for WPA/WPA2. This is a much more secure protocol and one that’s nearly impossible to breach.
The other thing you’ll want to be doing is making sure no unauthorized users have access to your home’s wireless network. When you’re going through the settings in your router, you’ll find a list of devices that are connected to your network. If you see something that’s not instantly recognisable there, remove it from the list. This might be your neighbour’s kid who asked for your password once because their internet was out, but it could be someone trying to breach your smart home.
Don’t Buy Unknown Devices
This is something you should be thinking about when you’re buying the items for your smart home. Whether it’s the hub itself, or the lights, or the speakers, or the security cameras and alarms, when it comes to smart home technology, you’d be smart to get products that are all made from a reliable manufacturer.
They might come at a price premium, but aside from quality and oftentimes ease of use, one major thing you’ll get from going with a reputable manufacturer is security. They always make sure to encrypt their signals and make sure to update the firmware regularly. Even if a new vulnerability is found, chances are you’ll have an update that protects you from it rather quickly.
Check Your Security Regularly
A common misconception is that a home security system is a “set and forget” thing, and once you have it set up, you don’t have to do any maintenance to it. While a good system won’t require too much maintenance on your end, it’s still a good idea to test the system regularly. Because you don’t want to find out something isn’t working when you’ve got a burglar ransacking your home.
If you have a monitored system, you’ll want to contact the monitoring company and let them know about the test, so they know not to react to the alarms being triggered. If you’ve went the DIY route, you should check all the cameras and sensors you have installed around the house and make sure everything is working as it should be. See if you get alerts on your phone quickly and reliably, see whether the motion detectors trigger the cameras you set them to trigger, and check everything.
While we’re at this, we should also mention that alerts should never be ignored and neglected. Even if you have a false alarm, make sure to investigate why that false alarm occurred the first chance you get. It might’ve been your kid who just got back home from school that forgot to disarm the alarm, but it might be a potential burglar, too. Make sure to follow up on anything that happened – a smart home gives you an overview of everything that’s going on in your home, by all means, take advantage of that.
Wrapping Things Up
At the end of the day, there’s no denying that your home security is a critical aspect of living. Yes, some of the devices you should be buying might be pricey. Also, regular check-ups are time-consuming, too. However, when you realise that you’re looking at unparalleled peace of mind, it’s all very much worth it.