Smart home security does not need to be expensive – Two-Factor Authentication and parental control are two free ideas for starters
A home is one of life’s most important investments. Not only does it give you and your family a place to stay, it also provides aspiring entrepreneurs with much-needed space for starting home-based ventures. And with the help of IoT devices, a home is like a canvass where tech-savvy homeowners can pour their creativity, personality, and hard-earned savings.
If you follow online tech publications, then you may come across people showing off their smart home ideas — from automated kitchens to Ocarina-controlled appliances. But as advances in IoT technology bring amazing new features to households, there are security-related concerns that stall the mainstream adoption of smart homes. As a matter of fact, Symantec released a report that covers all the security issues in smart homes like weak authentication protocols, local WiFi-based attacks, and other online vulnerabilities.
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Fortunately, you can fight fire with fire and leverage technology to keep your home safe, even if you don’t exactly call yourself an IoT enthusiast:
Parental Controls – Take Advantage
Sometimes, the biggest threats in smart home security come from your family. Statistics indicate that 56% if children between ages 10 and 13 already own smartphones. To protect them from inappropriate content as well as websites that can infect your home network with malware, be sure to use parental control apps that can help you limit their internet access.
If your home has a central computer which everyone uses, you should first check for built-in parental control features in your operating system. Mac OS, for example, allows you to create restricted user accounts for your children in the Parental Controls section, which can be found within System Preferences. Alternatively, you can use a popular parental control software like K9 Web Protection Administration.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Password safety is still one of the pillars to cybersecurity — whether you’re trying to protect an online account or a smart home. Unfortunately, even companies like Sony overlook its importance. Take note that, in a world that runs through the internet, the one thing you should never lose is your identity.
For example, once a hacker obtains your credentials to your main email account, they can determine the smart home security tools you have installed. They could also steal other sensitive information such as your credit card numbers, bank accounts, and work address.
Other than using strong passwords that contain various symbols and numbers, you can leverage two-factor authentication to reinforce your online privacy and security. Luckily, popular services like Google, Microsoft, and social networking sites already have systems in place that alert you whenever your account is accessed from a new device or location. You can also utilize password managers like Dashlane, which also offers a two-factor authentication feature.
smart home security – Install DIY Home Monitoring Systems
Although it’s important to prioritize the software side of things, all homes–smart or not–must also be protected from physical threats. When it comes to protecting against break-ins, take note that most burglars don’t really use any complicated, forced-entry methods. In fact, statistics show that 34% of break-ins occur through the front door, 23% through the first floor windows, and 22% through a side entryway.
The good news is, 60% of criminals won’t even attempt to break into a home that has a visible alarm system. If you’ve already spent thousands of dollars in smart home devices, then a home monitoring service is surely a worthy investment. But if you’re low on budget, you can also rely on affordable motion sensor devices with companion smartphone apps that can alert you — wherever you may be.
Keep All Devices and Software Up-To-Date
They can be a nuisance at times, but remember that software updates for devices and apps are meant to protect you against the latest cyber threats. Normally, you don’t need any additional software to keep your latest devices updated. For added convenience, remember to let automatic updates run whenever you add a new device in your smart home ecosystem.
Finally, any investment that improves the security of your family is a great investment, but it’s much better if it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. With the cost-effective tips outlined above, you should be able to enjoy IoT technologies with peace of mind.