Adding Smart Devices to Your Home Securely

These devices make our lives easier. But, they come with a host of growing concerns as convenience is prioritized over privacy. Smart devices often have lax security making them an easy target.

Our homes are now a hotbed of connected devices from virtual assistants to connected thermostats to smart doorbells to fridges that never run out of milk. These intelligent products share a mission to make our lives easier. However, smart devices come with a host of growing concerns as convenience is prioritized over privacy.

Smart devices often have lax security and come with a default password as standard or no password at all, which makes them an easy target for cybercriminals. There are also growing concerns related to the data that these connected devices are constantly gathering, including voice-activated assistants. Connected TVs are increasingly popular; however, they track what you and your family watch to recommend other shows and movies and allow brands to make more money with targeted ads. Businesses are profiting by exploiting the data gleaned from what you and your kids are watching to serve up products that they think you will be interested in.

Take Action Before Connecting Devices

Consumers need to be aware of the potential pitfalls with connected devices. This was brought to the forefront with the recent hacking of a Ring camera. While this is an extreme example resulting from password reuse, it shows how easily a smart device can transform from a useful tool to a horrifying threat. As the number of smart devices is poised to continue its rapid growth, you need to put the foundations in place to stop the exploitation of your family's information and privacy.

Protect your Home Network

Make sure that your network is password protected and hide it from view so that it doesn't show up. Go into the router settings to do this. You can also create a guest network for your smart devices to add an extra layer of security so that others are not able to access your computers or smartphones.

Prioritize Passwords

Before you connect any device, make sure to set a new password that is both strong and unique. Recent legislation in California now prevents devices shipping without a password, but you still need to update the default password that comes as standard with many devices. Also, never reuse passwords. As the Ring camera example highlights, password reuse opens you up to potential problems if the password was exposed in a prior breach.

Don’t Delay Software Updates

You should check for and run any software updates as these often have security patches and can help prevent cybercriminals from gaining access. Do this before connecting any of your family's devices to your home network and regularly audit your appliances to see if there are any software updates.

Mute Microphones

With the explosion in intelligent speakers, many homes now have multiple devices offering help from the familiar voices of Alexa, Siri and Google. However, these products are continually watching and listening to us. So, make sure that you turn the microphones off when they are not in use. Adopt the approach that you can’t be too careful.

Review Privacy Settings

In response to the growing concerns around privacy with smart devices, many of the major manufacturers, including Apple, Amazon, and Google, are providing enhanced privacy controls. Make sure to check the privacy settings with every device and opt-out of data tracking and ads. Also, make sure to regularly check that the settings don’t default back to sharing your data.

By following these steps, you can stop both cybercriminals and organizations from invading your home's privacy and infiltrating your information. IDShield can help you take back control, allowing you and your family to enjoy your smart home’s many benefits without worrying about the privacy implications of intelligent devices.

IDShield Protection Features Include

  • Dark web surveillance
  • Unlimited consulting with fraud experts
  • 24/7 access for emergency support
  • Monthly credit score tracker
  • Support with credit report disputes
  • Scan your social media for unwanted images and posts
  • Watch your financial accounts for unwanted activity

Blogs, Articles and Other Related Links

Smart Devices: An Invitation for Identity Thieves to Enter Victims' Homes
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In the rush to fill our homes with intelligent devices ranging from voice-activated assistants to connected coffee cups to smart TVs, we seem oblivious to the security risks.

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Could Smart Toys Put Your Child’s Privacy at Risk?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a public service announcement alerting consumers to the potential dangers of “smart toys,” basically any toy that can connect to the internet. 

Are Your Smart Devices Spying on You?
Are Your Smart Devices Spying on You?

That new flat screen you bought to watch the big game can do much more than show instant replays. The inconspicuous voice assistant perched on your kitchen counter can listen in to your conversations and even record them while it dims the lights.