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May

Hackers Targeting Smarthomes: What You Need to Know

Published: May 13, 2015 at 08:00 UTC
Hackers Targeting Smarthomes: What You Need to Know

In the past few years, some astounding new innovations have been introduced to homeowners. With these new technologies, it is possible to control the climate and security of the home, regardless of your location.

You could be hundreds of miles away, while still maintaining total control over your home. With this in mind, it is important to remember that many of these smart devices are connected to the Internet, which means they are also accessible to anyone else.

Hackers, if they’re able to find vulnerabilities, will be able to also control your smart devices. Below, we’ll discuss the information that should be known for all smarthome owners.

 

Reasons for Smarthomes

At the end of the day, many consumers find the benefits of the smarthome to be more beneficial than the potential risks. Suffice to say, the enhancements involved with these technologies are innumerable.

  • Improved Convenience
  • Added Security
  • More Energy Efficiency
  • Total Accessibility
  • Improved Resale Value

With these systems and devices, it is possible to control all aspects of the home from anywhere in the world.

Monitoring your home’s security cameras is more than possible, as long as you have access to the Internet. Homeowners will also find that these innovations can be used to improve the overall value of their homes. This is tremendously advantageous, when attempting to resale the home. It definitely offers the seller the benefit of upping the sale price just a tad.

 

Some Security Risks

Although it is true that wireless alarm systems can be beneficial, it is important to remember that they come with added risks.

These systems generally rely on the Internet to transmit and send data. Before agreeing to install these devices in your home, it is imperative to understand the potential security risks. In actuality, there are three specific elements that could cause you troubles.

  • Failure in a single device
  • Too much of a good thing
  • Hackers

 

Failure in a Single Device

The biggest problem could very well be the single device, which controls many of the smart features in your home. Most of these devices are accessed and controlled by the smart phone. There can be major complications, if you happen to lose your phone. The situation can become dire, if the phone is stolen! By having access to your phone, the thieves will be able to gain access to your entire home. With this possibility, they’ll be able to walk right through your front door.

 

Too Much Of a Good Thing

Since the Smart devices hit the market, homeowners have been snatching them like they are going to go out of style quicker than they hit the market. If you own every Smart device that was ever developed, you have most likely created a lot of Smart clutter. This can definitely cause one to worry, when you think about hackers, Internet failures, and the devices canceling each other out, which may cause a lot of operating confusion.

Of course, large corporations like Apple are going to continue to mass market these gizmos, because they know that they create convenience for homeowners and in turn will increase their sales. It is time to get control of this situation, before everything goes awry.

While, many foresee the futuristic solution, as an all-in-one Smart-Home ecosystem, which will allow the user to program all of their Smart Home devices on one single app, others are thinking the opposite. The all-in-one Smart-Home ecosystem could potentially be a treasure trove for hackers, so this idea may not be appropriate. One app for each Smart gadget will be much safer, since each will have a set password, which will make it more difficult for hackers to target all of these devices, at once.

The solution is still up in the air, so all homeowners will have to set back and see what the future holds, as far as Smart-Home security goes.

 

Hackers

Hackers are intelligent enough to take total control over a smarthome. Suffice to say, it has already happened numerous times. In all likelihood, you’ve seen news reports of a hacker gaining access to a family’s baby monitor and communicating with the baby. At first glance, this might not be a big deal, but it could generate concern. If these devices are so easily accessible, what happens when hackers target other important Internet enabled devices?

 

Tips for Securing your Smarthome Network

Anyone, who wishes to upgrade to a smarthome, will want to learn how to properly secure their networks. The Wi-Fi network is responsible for giving these devices connectivity to the Internet, which in turn, gives you control from a distance. Remember that these systems can be easily infiltrated, if they’re not password protected!

  • Upgrade to the WPA2 Encryption Protocol
  • Consider Using a Less Obvious Network Name
  • Never Allow Guest Access
  • Consider 2 Networks for Different Purposes
  • Using unique passwords among numerous devices is helpful
  • Protect your network with a firewall
  • UTM, or unified threat management appliances, can help

By following these simple rules, you will be able to block unauthorized access to your wireless network. Remember to avoid using the same password for all of your accounts and totally block guest access.

 

Secure Each Device

Although the general network is a major entryway for hackers, each individual device can also be a risk factor. With this in mind, it is pertinent to take the time to ensure that all of these devices are properly protected from unauthorized access. It is imperative to ensure that the devices used to access your smart features are secured.

Make sure that you take the opportunity to install security software on your mobile devices. This will help prevent hackers from gaining access to your system through malicious software.

At the same time, you should remember that the manufacturers of these devices work diligently to continue finding and rectifying vulnerabilities. With this, it is likely that they’ll release new firmware updates from time to time. In order to ensure that your devices are properly secured, you should take the time to install the latest firmware updates on your devices.

Lastly, it is best to check out the specific brands of your smart devices. Some are much more secure than others! Take the time to specifically select the most secure devices on the market. This will give you the ability to avoid allowing hackers into your system. Although the price is friendlier, take heed, because the device may very well be friendlier to hackers.

 

Overall

It is obvious that the Smart-Home accessories definitely make everyone’s life so much more convenient. The marketplace has opened up many doors of opportunities for manufacturers of these devices to score big on sales and services. Hopefully, they will also think about the safety that surrounds these convenient devices and develop software that will spare the homeowner of the potential hacking risks.

 
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