Christmas is over, gifts are open, and it's finally time to install your new smart home device.
Whether you've got an Alexa from Amazon or a Roomba, Internet-connected devices bring a lot of privacy issues, especially if they remain uninsured.
"There are many things that scammers can steal from you" with a smart home device, said Guillermo Francia, a professor of cybersecurity at the University of West Florida.
Smart assistants like Google Home and Amazon's Alexa are designed to listen to your commands. If a hacker had access to it, they could hear information such as birth dates, passwords and private conversations that could help them steal it ID card or receive your card information.
"Just putting it in your bedroom gives the hacker real-time access," Francia said.
You are safe if your connected device does not have a camera or microphone. Remember that it probably runs on the same WiFi network as most sensitive ones Appliances, such as your home computer. If a hacker has access to a device on your network, it can use it as an access point to other devices.
"They can start roaming around your network and get to your computer," he said. "They may have put malware on your computer and collected all of your bank credit card information."
To protect yourself from these problems, follow some basic steps that experts recommend security.
Begin by changing the device password.
When setting up a smart device for the first time, you will usually be prompted to enter the password provided by the manufacturer.
"This is really published by the manufacturers," said Francia, meaning that anyone looking for an electronic password could access your device if you leave it unchanged.
Set your password into something complicated and difficult to guess. And don't reuse a password you've already set up in another account. This way, if it is damaged by a hacker or data breach, it cannot be used to quickly access any of your other accounts.
If available, add an additional login step.
It may sound weird, but adding authentication two-factor (or "two-step") in your smart home device account can help a lot against hackers. Two-factor authentication requires you to confirm to another device that you are really trying to sign in to this account.
You will usually be asked to enter a phone number to receive a text with a verification code when connection or you can sync an app like Google Authenticator that automatically generates a new password for you. This makes it particularly difficult for a hacker to gain unauthorized access access.
Consider creating a separate WiFi network for smart devices.
At home, Jessica LaBouve, an ethical hacker for Tampa's security company A-LIGN, has a WiFi network for her personal devices and a separate tools of. This way, if one hacker had access to one set of devices, they would not be able to jump to the other.
"It's great because you can transfer resources to this network without problems with your own WiFi," he said.
Clear the history of your device where and where.
If your device stores data such as recent search history or chat snippets, be sure to choose one day every few weeks to clear it if there is anything sensitive about it, said Francia from the University of West Florida.
How useful was this post?
Average rating / 5. Vote count:
No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.