Tips for Protecting Your Home Automation System from Hackers
Home automation systems provide homeowners with the convenience of accessing, monitoring, and changing the settings of home devices remotely, from a mobile app or Web portal.
Your home automation system enables you to control your heating and cooling systems, lighting, door locks, security cameras, alarm systems and other devices. However, it can also make it easy for hackers to gain access to your devices and information—unless you employ the proper security measures.
When securing your home automation system, it's important to ascertain that all connected devices and your home network hardware are secure.
We've compiled 6 tips to help your protect your home automation system from getting hacked.
1. Secure Your Home Network
Securing your home automation system begins with having a secure home network. And, effective home network security includes having a strong firewall, strong passwords, and a secure router.
Some firewalls allow you to deny access to unrecognized devices by creating a rule to limit MAC addresses. Having this security measure in place allows you to control which new devices that are requesting access, have your permission to join and access to your home network.
Unsecured Wi-Fi networks make it easy for hackers to access Wi-Fi cameras and baby monitors, allowing them to see into your home. Therefore, it's critical to secure your Wi-Fi network.
Wondering where to start with securing your wireless network? You can begin with ensuring that your home security device supports WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) security protocols and encryption.
Router security is also very important for securing your home and Wi-Fi network—along with your home automation system. Change your router password to a secure password that uses a combination string of letters, numbers, and symbols, to enhance security.
Many home owners forget to change the password of their home router, and choose to use the default admin password. Failing to change the default password makes it very easy for a hacker to “hack” into the router and access your system and personal information.
2. Create Strong Passwords and Change Them Often
Passwords to your home network, router, and devices provide a layer of protection from getting hacked, especially if they are strong passwords. Create a formidable password by using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
If you need help choosing a secure password, you can find a number of online password generating tools that can help you create and test the strength of the password you entered.
For your home devices, never use easy to guess passwords such as “Password” or “1234” as your chosen password. Also, avoid using personal information such as your birthdate or address as part of your password.
Additionally, you need to frequently change the password of your home router, home automation application, and your smartphone. And, also make sure that your home network password is unique and not the same password that you chose for your home automation devices.
3. Safeguard Your Mobile Devices and Mobile Apps
Mobile phone security is also critical for having a secure home automation system. An unsecure smartphone or mobile device makes it very easy for hackers to gain access to your personal information and your home automation system.
It's important to ensure that your smartphone is password protected, especially if you use your phone as a remote control for your home automation system. Always choose a strong, security password for your mobile devices.
Also, keep your mobile apps up to date with the latest secure version. Many mobile apps have security patches and updates that you can access and execute from your smartphone when available and as needed.
4. Frequently Check Your IP Camera Logs
Safe and effective home security automation also includes checking your IP camera logs. IP cameras have camera viewable logs that enable you to see if anyone has logged into your security camera. Checking your security camera's log enables you to easily review the log history to see if and when other IP addresses have accessed your IP camera feed.
Frequent monitoring of your IP camera surveillance logs will make you aware if someone has gained unauthorized access to your IP cameras and provide a documented record of the event.
5. Keep Your Device Firmware Updated
If any of your home automation security devices have firmware, make sure you always have the latest version installed and updated. Many device manufacturers provide easy access and instructions for updating device firmware. Check with the specific device manufacturer for details on how to update your device's firmware.
6. Don't Use Public Wi-Fi to Check Your Home Automation System
Secure Wi-Fi is important for home automation system security, and public Wi-Fi networks are not very secure. That's why you should avoid checking your home automation system and devices while you are on public Wi-Fi.
Checking your smart home or home automation system while on public Wi-Fi makes it very easy for hackers to gain access to your home automation system and your personal information.
Whenever possible, only log into your home automation system when you know you are on a secure network. When logging into your home automation system from your mobile device, make sure you switch to a secure network or mobile data service. Always ensure the network you are using is secure—before using any mobile apps for your home automation system.
Maintaining a Safe, Secure Home Automation System
Following the above tips will help you protect your home automation system, devices, and your home against being attacked by hackers—and provide peace of mind security.