9 Tips to Protect Your Smart Home Against Data Theft

Smart home technology has made home automation easy, and inexpensive. We can control our homes with an app, and in some cases, they learn our habits and perform these tasks on their own. But as smart home devices become more prevalent in our lives, the same rules of keeping our data safe still apply.

While smart home technology is secure, there is never a zero chance that you’ll be hacked. You should not trust anyone but yourself with your personal information. So protect it! Here are nine tips to protect your smart home against data theft.

  1. Only connect to secure networks, if possible. Public Wi-Fi is insecure.
  2. Make sure your router is password-protected, and change the default password. This prevents hackers from accessing it easily by trying the default passwords. Lists of the default passwords of many routers are publicly available online.
  3. Keep all software up to date on your smart home devices. Many offer an “auto-update” functionality. Use this if it’s available.
  4. Keep your phone updated too. Be sure that it has a strong password or biometric authentication (touch or face identification) enabled. This keeps nosy friends from snooping around your devices.
  5. Always use a strong password. Avoid easy-to-guess passwords with words or patterns in them. Chrome browser can generate (and save) complex passwords for you automatically, that are stored securely on your device.
  6. Restrict access permissions as much as possible, especially for apps you don’t frequently use since they might be storing private information from the device.
  7. Install and use antivirus software. Set it up so that it automatically scans any new downloads or app installations.
  8. Use a VPN, especially if you are using public Wi-Fi networks frequently while out and about or when connecting remotely via the internet. We recommend NordVPN, [Service], and [Service].
  9. Don’t connect to a public Wi-Fi network without using a VPN.

Hacking into a Smart Home Isn’t Easy

A common question about smart homes is whether they’re safer than traditional security systems. The answer varies depending on the specific device and how it’s used, but generally speaking, yes.

Some of this has to do with where we’re putting our data these days – for example, if you have your Wi-Fi password access to this information. It’s not easy for them to do so but the consequences of such an act are far-reaching.

With all these new technologies emerging at rapid rates (look no further than Google Glass), we must be mindful about what data is being collected and that hackers can gain saved on your phone, it’s highly likely that they can access your smart home system.

As long as you follow security practices to keep your data safe and not connecting unnecessary devices, hackers won’t be able to compromise your smart home. Smart home manufacturers are spending a considerable amount of time on security as well, and today’s smart devices are secure.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, using the right devices and ensuring they’re configured correctly goes a long way toward keeping your home safe from data thieves. If you take this advice to heart and follow it closely, hopefully, your smart homes will be more secure than ever.

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About the Author

Ed Oswald

Ed Oswald has nearly two decades of experience in technology and science journalism, and specializes in weather stations and smart home technology. He's written for Digital Trends, PC World, and TechHive. His work has also appeared in the New York Times. When he isn't writing about gadgets, he enjoys chasing severe weather and winter storms.