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How To Prevent Hackers From Getting Into Your Smart Home

Smart Home

If you’re starting to add a lot of useful smart devices to your home, you might wonder how safe it is and if someone could probably hack them. Could someone be trying to look at your security camera? Could they get control of the units, like good plugs and door locks? Do hackers walk around neighborhoods looking for good places to live?

Thanks to important updates, you’re not in danger of a smart home takeover, and smart platforms are always getting safer. However, smart devices are online, and online devices can have some flaws. That is true about your Wi-Fi network and how it is set up. Let’s talk about good home security and how to protect your home.

Can a smart home be hacked?

Smart devices can talk to each other through your Wi-Fi network and their protocols, like ZigBee. Hackers can spy on unsecured Wi-Fi networks, which means that the information your smart devices send to apps and other devices could be stolen.

This information isn’t too dangerous, but it could include security camera footage, information about your upcoming events, and so on. More determined hackers could find ways to control good devices by using the right account information and brute-forcing password cracking.

Still, Hacked Houses are very rare. Hackers would need to be close to your Wi-Fi network and have the right tools to get in. This isn’t usually possible, and public Wi-Fi networks with many people are usually much more appealing targets.

Even though clickbait articles might try to get people to worry, the facts show that hackers aren’t likely to go after smart homes right now. Most hacking risks from a smart home come from somewhere else. Usually, it’s either an employee of a security monitoring company or a database where your account information was kept that has been hacked.

How can I protect my valuable residences?

Your Wi-Fi router is a great tool that can simultaneously protect all your smart home devices without needing a cybersecurity degree. Some routers made today have security features built in. This usually comes with a firewall, which you can turn on to protect all of your devices easily.

Step 1: Check if your modem has a firewall. Again, this is a common setting option, and most modern routers have them. However, if you have an older router or a cheap one, it might not have firewall features. As you add more good devices to your home, upgrading to a router with a firewall, at least two Wi-Fi bands, and the ability to set up a guest network is a good idea. You can find out what your router can do by Googling the model number or looking at the menu.

Step 2: Let’s say you know for sure that your router has a firewall setting. Open the app for your router and sign in with your account information. Most routers now have app controls, but some still require you to type your router’s IP number into a browser (or follow similar instructions) and enter your router’s serial number to log in. Try the web method if your router app doesn’t give you any options.

Step 3: Find the option that says “Security.” You might need to look in a menu called “Advanced settings” or search for a choice called “Firewall.” Sometimes firewall features are part of paid services, like Netgear Armor, and sometimes they are free to use. We’re showing a simple example from Arris, but interfaces can look very different from one another. If you find a firewall, turn it on and, if you can, choose how strong it is.

Step 4: If you don’t have any obvious firewall settings to allow, you can block all new devices yourself. In this Netgear, we went to the Advanced settings, found the Security section, and then went to the Access management section. This gave us the freedom to stop all new units from connecting. This will keep hackers out, but you’ll have to turn it off whenever you want to add a new system or a friend comes over with a new one, which can be time-consuming.

You’ll also see that you have the option to block only certain websites or companies. This means that you can make the firewall that works for you. This is good for protecting against a specific system or connection, but it doesn’t do much to stop hacking attempts and quickly gets into the details of choosing individual service types. For now, we think you should leave that alone.

Step 5: Remember that most good router firewalls have points that set them off. It can make some services or third-party features, like voice assistants, less useful. If you lose important options, you can try turning off the firewall to see if they come back.

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