Smart homes: Are they secure?
smart homes are they secure?

Are smart homes secure?

by Gotmenow

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A smart home is one that has one or more connected appliances/devices that can be remotely monitored, controlled, and accessed from within the home or from anywhere in the world via the internet. Smart homes devices typically connect via Wi-Fi and come with a companion app that allows users to control variables such as temperature, colour, brightness, and more from their smartphone or tablet. These apps also allow the user to create sequences or scenes that trigger multiple devices at once or in a sequence, such as turning on the light, closing the curtains, and playing soothing music, all with a single voice command or tap.

smart homes

What Functions Does a Smart Home Have?

From turning a plug socket on/off to opening the curtains when it’s time to wake up, smart homes can do it all. With the introduction of new devices and software, more and more common home appliances and tasks are being automated.

We’ve put together a list of the most common tasks that a smart home can perform:

  • Lights can be turned on/off, changed in colour, brightness, and even run on a schedule.
  • Curtains/blinds, you can easily open and close your curtains and blinds with simple mechanisms that can be controlled by your device, voice, or a schedule.
  • Heating, with the right smart thermostats, is very common. They allow you to precisely control the temperature and even warm a room before you enter it.
  • Smart cameras that are internet-connected allow you to remotely monitor your home, report when someone is present, and even alert individuals to suspicious activity.

There are numerous other tasks in your home that can be automated or controlled.

Is it safe to live in a smart home?

Taking precautions when configuring your smart home devices can significantly improve your home’s security. To ensure that basic security is in place, four key steps must be taken.

  • Use a secure password; this is important for both your Wi-Fi network and your device’s cloud account. A weak password is easily cracked, and your devices are vulnerable. It is recommended to use strong passwords and a password manager, such as LastPass, to manage these passwords.
  • Join a different Wi-Fi network with your devices. It is highly recommended that you connect all of your normal devices, such as your laptop, phone, and tablet, to a different Wi-Fi network. This keeps all of your smart home devices within their own private network.
  • Permissions are essential for ensuring that only users and services who require access to your devices have it.
  • Updates, keep your devices up to date with the most recent firmware and software to protect them. Manufacturers are constantly working on security updates as well as new features, and these updates are released on a regular basis. Some even install themselves automatically.
smart homes

Some users will want to control as many aspects of their smart home as possible. Pet feeders, door locks, kitchen appliances, doors are examples of such items.

To improve the security of their smart home, more advanced users may consider dedicated systems/techniques. There are several of these dedicated systems and techniques that, when properly set up and maintained, can greatly improve security. These are some examples:

  • Dedicated Firewalls, with a dedicated firewall, custom rules can be set up to filter out bad traffic while allowing good traffic through.
  • Zones, zoning a network allows devices to communicate only with themselves and other devices if permitted. This ensures that if one device becomes infected, it does not infect other devices on the network. This method is similar to using a separate Wi-Fi network, but it allows for more control and segregation.
  • Monitoring, several devices are available on the market that allow detailed monitoring of what devices on the network are doing as well as alerting when problems arise.

While most homeowners will only have one or two devices in their home, it is critical to ensure that your home is secure. Most homeowners will not require dedicated systems and techniques to secure their smart home, but simple measures such as passwords, permissions, and updates are critical to keeping your smart home secure.

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