Smart Tech at Home: How to Secure Your IoT Systems and Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed how we live and work. From thermostats to speakers, nearly every element of our daily lives can be shaped by advanced devices designed to optimize a variety of tasks and processes. As a result, our lives are more convenient, and our homes are far more efficient.

Unfortunately, the upsides of IoT are accompanied by several notable concerns. Security issues, for example, have hit IoT enthusiasts hard in the last few years. Like any computer or smartphone linked to the internet, smart devices can be compromised by a variety of threats.

Often, IoT tech is used to obtain exceedingly sensitive data. For example, several home-based smart security cameras and other systems have been hacked, typically via a process known as credential stuffing. Likewise, speakers, switches, plugs, and locks can all be compromised – often with a shocking degree of ease.

Many tech enthusiasts are generally aware of these problems but not yet willing to let go of their favorite devices. Thankfully, this doesn’t need to be an either-or proposition. With a basic degree of security protocol, the modern smart home can be thoroughly protected. Top options for reducing the threat of IoT breaches include:

Upgrading Your Router

Your home router acts as the first line of defense against the most damaging attacks. While it has traditionally been regarded as a primary option for preventing breaches on desktop computers, laptops, and smartphones, it is now responsible for keeping a variety of other devices safe as well.

Unfortunately, run-of-the-mill routers are rarely equipped to handle the influx of threats related to the growing prominence of home-based IoT devices. A basic router that might have been perfectly acceptable for the desktop of yesterday might not be capable of managing the myriad of security issues faced by the modern smart home, which, by 2022, is expected to include an average of 13.6 IoT devices.

Instead of relying on the router supplied by your internet service provider, consider upgrading to a secure model specifically designed to address IoT threats. The best options include:

  • Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
  • Asus RT-AC66U B1 Dual-Band Gigabit
  • Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
  • TP-Link Archer C5400 v2

Updating Passwords and Other IoT Device Settings

In the excitement of setting up and launching your favorite smart devices, you likely neglected to adjust the security settings – or even the default password. If you’ve yet to change these essentials, take action as soon as possible. This simple step could keep a variety of damaging attacks at bay.

Once you’ve adjusted the passwords on your smart devices, take a closer look at enabled features. Some of these may prompt greater compromises to your digital security than you’re willing to accept. Consider disabling any features that you’re unlikely to use regularly. Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) features, in particular, are worth abandoning. These enable a variety of devices to link to one another. While UPnP may seem convenient at the outset, it can make devices and entire networks vulnerable to third-party hackers. It’s far better to take the extra time to connect devices manually.

Taking Advantage of Two-Factor Authentication

A strong password can go a long way towards preventing attacks, but it alone may not prove sufficient. Amp up your security efforts with two-factor authentication, which adds an extra step to the login process. Typically, this approach involves entering a password and a specific code sent via text or email. The simple addition of this extra step could make all the difference for your home’s digital security.

Develop a Guest Network

There’s no need to limit yourself to a single network. You may trust the friends and extended family members you regularly invite into your home, but you’ll greatly expand opportunities for hacking every time you share the password for the network that contains your most sensitive data. Instead, consider maintaining separate connections for key household members and their guests. Another viable option: creating an additional network to separate IoT devices from your computer.

Taking a Proactive Approach

Options abound for keeping your home secure. Unfortunately, no one set of solutions will prove viable in every household. However, all smart device users can benefit from implementing a proactive approach to cybersecurity.

Even a few modest protocols could make a huge difference for your home and the myriad of IoT devices it already contains. Don’t waste this opportunity to stay a step ahead of today’s most malicious attackers.

NerdsToGo: Offering In-Home Technology and Computer Services

If you’re eager to take advantage of the Internet of Things but are concerned about security, you can take solace in knowing that NerdsToGo can keep your home and data safe. We provide a variety of home network security services for proactive smart home enthusiasts. Firewall installation, in particular, can make a huge difference in otherwise vulnerable households.

Reach out to the team at NerdsToGo to discover how you can implement your favorite IoT devices in a safe and secure manner. With our help, you can make the most of your home automation system.