How to Boost IoT Security in Smart Homes?

Internet of things is not a new term anymore. Technology has not only influenced various industries including healthcare, transportation, and agriculture but also played a major role in the lives of the common persons.

People are going crazy and thinking of ways to adopt this technology as a common household item.

Just like the internet that has played a major role in everyone’s life including entrepreneurs, students, researchers, and doctors.

Some of the big names like Spectrum, Cox, Frontier, or Optimum Altice cannot be put behind who have served millions of people providing high-speed internet connection without glitches.

When it comes to IoT transformation, one of the biggest challenges often faced by homeowners is security. As a layman, one might not be well versed with security and privacy over the internet.

As the internet of things is meant to stay connected all the time, the vulnerability of being exposed to hackers and scammers is high. You need to take security seriously just like you take in the case of your email or social media account.

Before we look into how to boost IoT security in smart homes, let’s first take a look at statistics revealing the impact of IoT.

Internet of Things Statistics

  • IoT devises market is forecasted at $1.3 trillion by 2026
  • Data collected from Zion Market Research found that the global IoT healthcare market is expected to reach $14 billion by 2024
  • According to the IDC, the amount of data generated by IoT devices globally in 2019 was 17.3 zettabytes, which would reach 73.1 ZB by 2025
  • Global pandemic COVID-19 has impacted the adoption of IoT. According to the report by Microsoft 2020, one out of three decision-makers plans to increase their IoT investments, whereas 41% say their investment will remain as it is.
  • According to PWC Data, nearly 81% of American internet users know about connected and smart devices
  • According to the data by Symantec, in 2018 infected routers accounted for 75 percent of IoT attacks

With adoption on the rise for smart homes and connected devices, it is important to respond appropriately before bearing a loss. Here are some of the ways to boost IoT security in smart homes.

Setting Up Your Router Correctly

Wi-Fi router is a great invention that offers convenience, ease, and mobility to internet users. Without tangling oneself or restricting at one place, one can do whatever he/she wants on the internet.

However, the gateway to access all your devices is a Wi-Fi router. It impacts greatly on the security and protection of your devices. A small loophole could give easy access to cybercriminals.

Make sure to set up your router correctly before you face the music. Here’s how to set up your router correctly to save from security vulnerabilities.

Change the Name of Router

Every router available on the market comes with a default name comprising the model and its number. If hackers come to know the manufacturer and model of the router, they may take advantage and break into the home network.

Make sure to change the default name of the router that leaves no hint for the hackers to guess the login and password. Don’t use anything that anyone can guess for example your pet name, your name, or your address.

Choose a Unique Password

In most cases, internet users normally choose small and easy-to-remember passwords. However, by choosing a weak password, hackers may break into your home network and hack IoT devices.

Make sure to use a complex password that contains upper and smaller alphabets along with special characters and numbers. You can use password generator tools online to create a complex password, in case you have run out of ideas.

Use Optimal Level of Encryption

Another important set of the router is to use an optimal level of encryption. Nowadays, routers are coming with WPA2 – while WPA3 is about to come.

Make sure to choose the highest one. However, if your router still supports WEP or WPA protocols, the time has come to change it immediately.

Set Strong Passwords for Other Devices

You don’t only need to set a strong password on your router only. You need to set a strong password for other devices as well. When talking about IoT devices, most of them require you to create an account to use them.

To gain access to IoT devices through mobile devices, you need to sign in with credentials. Again the most important thing is to set up a unique and complex password to avoid any vulnerabilities. Don’t select the same password for each device because if one device gets hacked, others may not be affected.

One of the problems that most homeowners face is remembering passwords for each device, which is a big curse indeed. However, writing them down on paper, notepad, or password manager tool would save you from hassle.

If you are writing it on a notepad or paper, make sure not to reveal the name of devices along with the password, instead use hints only to distinguish for your convenience.

Create Separate Wi-Fi Network to Connect IoT Devices

In one of our points, we told you to update your router if the level of encryption is not optimal. If you didn’t take it seriously, now is the time to do so.

Nowadays, most routers allow you to create a secondary network. If you are thinking of transforming your home into a smart one, make sure to buy a router that allows you to do so.

In case, any guest or stranger comes to your house and asks for a password, you can give access to the second one without worrying about security.

Disable Features Not in Use

IoT devices come with many features that provide ease and convenience. But just like your smartphone and laptop, not every feature is used. For instance, if you are using a smart speaker over Wi-Fi then you don’t need Bluetooth connectivity.

Make sure to turn it off. Similarly, smart TVs come with voice control, which may go unused. Turn it off because many incidents have been reported in which mics got hacked.

Yashik Patel
Yashik Patel is a Google Certified, Digital Marketing and professional Blogger. He has 5+ years experience in SEO, SEM and ORM (Online Reputation Management) field.

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