Smart Home Security – 7 Tips Against Hacker Attacks
Open the house door via your iPhone, turn on the AirCon on the way home, or observe the house with your surveillance camera via your phone: By now there are Smart Home gadgets for almost every circumstance to make your life easier. You can control your HomeKit compatible gadgets through an internet or Bluetooth connection via your iPhone. This is supposed to make the connected home technology more intelligent as well as safer. However, the home technology is not immune to hacker attacks. Therefore, we want to give you some tips that will definitely make your Smart Home safer.
1. Don’t lose your smartphone
The loss of your smartphone is one of the biggest security risks because it controls the entire safety-relevant Smart Home system such as the lock and alarm system. Therefore, it could provide access to unauthorized holders. This is why you should always use a Passcode for your iPhone to prevent the access to your Smart Home devices and other private data.
2. Check the battery
Smart security gadgets often are run by battery. In this context, the battery life of the devices is a very important factor to ensure safety. You should pay attention if you can check the battery life via an iPhone app at any time. If the product doesn’t have this option, then keep your hands off! You cannot just rely on the manufacturer specifications for the battery life in this case.
3. Change insecure passwords
Another important and often underestimated aspect: Setting up safe passwords. Some gadgets have default passwords such as “1234” or “0000”. If you don’t change such easy password within the commissioning, the security of the product won’t be guaranteed. So change the password and make sure that it is a secure one: A minimum of 8 characters, capitals, and lower cases, as well as special characters.
4. Install security updates
The rules for smartphones also apply to Smart Home gadgets. Regular security updates by the manufacturer protect your smart accessories against hacker attacks. In every case, it should be possible to update the software of the product for possible safety problems. If the gadget doesn’t have this option, you should look for an alternative.
5. Data encryption
You have to make sure that the communication between the devices in your Smart Home system is encrypted. If images and videos are sent unencrypted to your iPhone via the internet, it can be easily caught by someone else. Even login credentials can be read, if the encryption isn’t safe enough. If there is no information about the encryption, you could ask the manufacturer or take a look at the product description.
6. Only download trustful apps
If an app doesn’t make a trustful impression, don’t download it. Avoid downloading apps outside the App Store. If you have installed such an app on your iPhone, it could access your entire data traffic and for example spy on the password for the controlling app of your Smart Home system.
7. Search the web for security flaws
A simple Google web search can help finding out about possible security flaws in certain Smart Home devices. Just enter the name of the product and combine it with search terms like “security” or “security hole”. Even the search for experiences and reviews in forums or shops (Amazon, etc.) can provide important information in relation to weaknesses and security flaws of the Smart Home gadget.