How to protect your smart home from hackers


If you are starting to gather a number of handy smart devices around your home, you may be wondering how secure a smart home is and if anyone could potentially hack it. Could someone else be looking through your security camera? Could they gain control of devices like smart plugs — or even smart door locks? Do hackers really roam neighborhoods looking for smart houses?

You’re not in much danger of a smart home takeover, and smart platforms are getting increasingly safer thanks to important updates — but smart devices are online, and online devices can have some vulnerabilities. That’s especially true when it comes to your Wi-Fi network and its settings. Let’s look at smart home safety and how you can protect your home.

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Can a smart home be hacked?

Smart devices communicate via their own protocols (like ZigBee) as well as through your Wi-Fi network. Unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be monitored by hackers, which means that the information your smart devices are sending your apps and other devices can be intercepted.

On its own, that information may not be particularly dangerous, although it can include security camera video, information about your upcoming events, and so on. More persistent hackers may find ways to control smart devices by using the right account information and brute-forcing weak passwords.

That being said, hacked smart homes are very rare. Hackers would need both proximity to your Wi-Fi network and the right technology to hack in — that’s not often possible, and public Wi-Fi networks with lots of people on them are generally much more attractive targets. While clickbait articles may try to stir concerns, the facts show that smart homes just aren’t likely to be targeted by hackers at this time. In fact, most hacking dangers from a smart home come from a totally different source, usually either an employee of security monitoring companies or a hacked database where security companies kept your account information.

A Netgear Nighthawk AX6600 wireless router creates a powerful network for streaming TV shows.

How do I protect my smart home devices?

Fortunately, you have an excellent tool to protect all your smart home devices at the same time without needing a degree in cybersecurity: your Wi-Fi router itself!…

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