Smart Home Cyber Security: Are You Safe?

Smart devices have become crucial today. Every place we go, there’s a smart device. The integration of these devices into daily human activities means we have reached a point where we can’t live without them.

But interconnected smart devices also pose several cybersecurity threats. So, we should take measures to ensure smart home security for everybody.

How to Live in a Secure Smart World

Smart devices are massively interconnected these days. Small devices like wearables to large ones like homes and entire cities are now fully integrated into the Internet of Things (IoT). This creates a complex system that raises very complex challenges when it comes to security. Even with the best efforts from developers, securing such a highly interconnected world is not easy or 100% guaranteed.

Besides, the hardware used to make these devices is also limited security-wise. For example, we have heard cases where home digital voice assistants have been manipulated using ultrasound commands. It’s also possible to use the electromagnetic radiation, noise, and heat generated by hardware to inform important information about current usage.

Unlike software security threats, hardware vulnerabilities are harder to address for smart home security.  Despite this, it’s no secret that an interconnected world is a reality and it’s the future of technology. The only thing we can do is find safer and secure ways to leverage this technology without putting our privacy at risk.

But before we do that, you should fully understand the nature of the risks posed by the Internet of Things.

How Interconnected Smart Devices May Affect the Built Environment

The risk of crippling cyber-attacks has always been there. We have heard many times intelligence agencies and militaries of various countries talking about cyber threats to important infrastructures like the electric grid and telecommunication systems. These are of course high-value targets. You’d expect them to have very tight cybersecurity measures. If an attack on them was to be successful, the consequences would be dire.

The issue is often with the average homeowner.  Most people, either due to financial constraints or lack of knowledge, don’t do enough to improve smart home security. This makes them susceptible to attacks and an easy target for hackers. But it’s not entirely their fault. Cybersecurity is a dynamic threat and it’s something no single person can deal with.

Governments, tech companies, and even tech vendors have a role to play in educating the public on the increasing cyber threats and how they can mitigate this risk.

Attention: Read before you continue

Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble.

Currently, the following information is visible: 

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Why is Cybersecurity Important in Smart Home Devices?

It’s simple. IoT devices like smart webcams, smart TVs, or smart bulbs give attackers a “door” through which they can access your data.

Here is how an attack may unfold without smart home security:

  • A hacker can gain access to your webcam or baby monitor and watch through live streaming everything you’re doing in the house.
  • Hackers can infiltrate your alarm system and disable it before gaining entry.
  • Smart thermostats can provide information about when the home is empty.
  • A more serious risk though is when attacks target your Wi-Fi. If a third party has access to your network, they have access to tons of your data and they can do with it as they please.

Cyber Threats Are on the Rise

The rise in cyber-attacks over the last few years has been very fast and sudden. As manufacturers focus more on the features of devices as opposed to their security, hardware has become vulnerable. As a result, major hacks affecting millions of users have become far too common.

What to Do?

There are a few things you can do to reduce the risks of cyber-attacks through smart home security.

Here are some of them:

  • Invest on trusted devices with a track record of prioritizing user privacy and security
  • Use very strong passwords for all your IoT. Try to make it a habit to change the password regularly.
  • Download and install the most updated security patches for all your IoT devices.
  • Use multi-factor authentication if possible.
  • Disable features in your devices that you don’t need.
  • Don’t connect your devices to a public Wi-Fi unless it’s necessary.

Let us know in the comments below if you’re worried about the cybersecurity of your smart home and what you are doing to solve this issue!


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