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The Security Risks of the Connected Home

Home Security Risks

Through the use of our smart phones, TV’s, computers, mobile devices, home appliances, lighting and music systems, more and more of our homes are linking all of this equipment to produce the “connected home”.

All this connection poses significant security threats because of software vulnerability and the lack of even basic security measures like encryption of the link to the Internet and administrator passwords that are strong and complex.

How Secure is Your Connected Home?

By conducting a security check of his own home, David Jacoby, a security analyst for Kaspersky Lab, found that many of the devices he has are vulnerable to hackers. Mr Jacoby found that his network-attached storage (NAS) devices such as routers, smart TV’s, Blu-ray players, among others, all had vulnerabilities, although some were not that easy to find.

He said that not only companies but individuals need to be aware of the security risks involved in connecting our devices. Strong passwords help but there are many other elements over which we have no control. Hackers can, very quickly, get into many of these devices, even those that appear safe or claim to be secure.

How To Improve Your Security

There are some simple steps that will help protect your equipment and data from those who are eager to steal whatever they can from you.

  • Make it harder for hackers to exploit known security holes by regularly updating security, firmware, antivirus and malware software on all of your devices.
  • Home switches and routers have options for setting up a network for each device and restricting access to other devices on that network. For example, you can restrict the access your smart TV has to any other resource such as an external hard drive or printer. By doing this, you reduce the number of resources that a hacker can access.
  • Change the default password and user name on networking equipment and modems since these are often the first point of entry for a hacker’s attack.
  • Regularly change your passwords on mobile devices, and make them difficult. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. As more of us use smart phone apps to control the equipment within our homes, this is one simple way to keep hackers out.

While connected homes are still in the future for most of us, inter-connectivity is rapidly coming as we spend more on technology each and every year. Along with the lack of technological integration, security is still the major drawback for the connected home.

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