Protecting Your Smart Home Devices From Hijackers

By   February 7, 2017

Hijackers or online scammers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities in home networks. Many people are unaware of the dangers of a hijacking, while others are more than prepared to fend them off.

Millions of modern homes are installed with one or more Internet-connected devices, such as light bulbs, locks, thermostats TVs and lighting fixtures. These gadgets can be controlled with a central remote, such as a smartphone, tablet, Smart controller or button. Today, many of these devices offer voice automation, providing users with hands-free control.


Amazon Echo Smart Speaker


What Are The Risk?

If one of your connected devices gets hijacked, your entire home network will be at risk. Online hackers are pretty adamant about obtaining sensitive data and they will do whatever is necessary to get their hands on it. Luckily, for consumers online attacks on home devices is not very common. According to a study released by Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, the number of American consumers, who have reported being a victim of this crime, is only 10 percent. These individuals filed a claim for their reported loses, ranging between $1,000 and $5,000.


Only Choose A Trusted Brand

One of the best ways to fend off a hijacking is by investing in only trusted brand connected home gadgets. Google and Amazon are just two examples of well-regarded company that have the consumers’ best interest in mind. It is also a great idea to do extensive research on each product, looking for regularly scheduled software updates. These updates will fix any vulnerability in the device’s security system.


Ready Company Privacy Policies

Consumers should also take the time to read company privacy policies. The company could be a bigger threat for the consumer than online hackers. Take a look at Vizio, a leading provider of Smart TVs, which was recently caught up in fraudulent activities, which involved collecting data from its customers.

Amazon Echo does collect data from customers, but only after Alexa is activated. This eliminates the device from recording personal conversations that do not pertain to the virtual assistant.


Enhance Wi-Fi Security

The Wi-Fi network is the heart of a Smart Home, making it even more vulnerable to attacks. Several security analysts recommend connecting Smart devices to a separate network than computing devices. Two Wi-Fi networks will prevent hackers from infiltrating the network, with the connected devices and jumping over to the other network.


Strengthen Your Passwords

Common and weak passwords will make your network vulnerable to attacks. Never recycle your passwords, because if one gadget is compromised, all the others will be, as well. Utilize special characters and numbers, because this is the only way to strengthen a wimpy password.

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