- Smart home devices are rapidly replacing the traditional devices across the world.
- These devices provide comfort and convenience, but also a higher risk of cybercrimes.
Why worry about cybersecurity for smart home devices?
IoT devices such as smart TVs, web cameras, smart lightbulbs, and smart thermostats make life easier. But without proper protection measures in place, they offer attackers a number of ways to access personal data.
- Hacking into web cameras or baby monitors provides attackers a live stream of the happenings inside your house.
- Smart thermostats or lightbulbs can provide details about when the house is empty.
- Hackers can infiltrate into smart alarm systems and disable them before entering the house.
- Another major concern is that hacking into IoT devices may expose the WiFi password. This can allow the tracking of your network activity and even possibly steal sensitive information such as banking credentials or medical information.
Rising cyber threats
With manufacturers and consumers focusing more on the features of the device, rather than the security, cybercrimes using these devices are a growing concern.
- The Mirai botnet launched a massive DDoS attack in 2016, compromising IoT devices. This attack caused the temporary shut down of major websites such as Spotify, Netflix, and Twitter.
- Recently, 15,000 private web cameras were discovered to be vulnerable to hacking by anyone with an internet connection.
What should you do?
With many incidents and vulnerabilities coming to light, here are a few things you can do to make your smart home safer.
- Invest in trusted brands after familiarizing yourself with the privacy policies.
- Change the default username and password of any IoT device that you use. And as always, choose strong and unique passwords.
- Ensure your devices have the latest updates and security patches installed.
- Check the settings of your devices and disable any feature that you do not need.
- Enable multi-factor authentication and avoid connecting the devices to public WiFi networks as much as possible.