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How to Secure Your Smart Home and IoT Devices

secure-home-network

Home routers and IoT devices always remain on target by attackers. Why?

Because, like most other connected devices – they don’t offer reliable built-in security. Due to poor security practices, these devices remain attackers target all the time. In addition to that, IoT device manufacturers don’t count security as top priority. Issues like no system hardening, default or hardcoded passwords, lack of software updates and similar things, keep IoT devices on verge of security threats. To help you deal with this problem, we have discussed ways to keep your IoT devices and home secured from attackers.

The 10 Best Tips to Keep Your Smart Home & IoT Devices Safe

Double-Clad Home Network Security: To begin with your smart home network security, one of the important things includes protecting your Wi-Fi network. Here, you can use free & super-fast Wi-Fi scanners for your home network that helps you check for vulnerabilities on multiple devices. It offers detailed security recommendations for your home network while checking for poor password security as well. You can also use free IoT scanner tools to double-clad home network security. These powerful tools come with high-performance hardware for lightening-fast connectivity and virtually instant response to all threats.

Secure the Wireless Network: While there are plenty of users still on old Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol, it could be easily compromised due to its weak security mechanism. To fix this problem, you should consider switching to Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol with a complex & strong password for better security. Using this strong encryption method for your home Wi-Fi, you can easily keep your communication & network safe.

Wireless-Network-Security

Select Obscure Name for Your Router: This is a simple yet effective tip that helps you keep your network safe effortlessly. Here, you shouldn’t continue with default name & password for your router. Instead, you should select some obscure name with a strong password for better security. Here, you should avoid using common building name, your name, house number,  street address etc. Furthermore, changing default usernames and passwords also prevent attackers from knowing your network details.

Select Obscure Name for Your Router

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Set up a Guest Network: The next thing you should do is to keep your Wi-Fi account private. If someone from your family or friends want to connect then give them separate network option that is not connected to your Internet of Things (IoT) devices. You can even consider disabling guest network entirely or keep strict vigilance who is connecting to your network. In addition to that, you can also consider creating two different Wi-Fi networks if multiple SSIDs are supported by your router. Here, you can set one network for smartphones, computers, tablets etc. and the second network for smart devices.

Set up a Guest Network

Firewall the Network: Enabled Firewall on your system helps you track & restrict incoming connections that may cause trouble to you. You can do this with a stand-alone appliance or software that ships with the router. Here, you will find that IoT devices include certain information related to network protocols, ports and IP addresses that are considered to be safe and connected. For better security, you should set your system firewall to allow traffic on specified ports & networks only. Port restrictions will help you cut down unnecessary network-probing attempts. Furthermore, you can consider routers and firewalls that are VPN-enabled. It will help encrypt all traffic on your network to keep you safe.

Firewall the Network

Install UTM: In addition to the firewall, you should also consider installing Unified Threat Management appliance (UTM) for your highly-connected home. This simple trick will help you detect intrusion & prevent it, content filtering, provide network antivirus & spyware protection, VPN support, and manage the Internet gateway. UTMs come with signatures and other effective countermeasures to detect and block the entry points that are usually used by attackers.

unified threat management appliance-utm

Keep Controller Devices Safe: While most IoT devices are controlled by an app on your smartphone, thus it becomes important to keep your smartphone safe. Here, you should avoid open network on your device, use VPN apps, create strong passwords, install security software, update device software, and do similar things to keep your device safe. It will help avoid a situation where attackers breach your device security and start controlling your IoT devices or steal data from it.

Keep Controller Devices Safe

Check for Firmware Updates: You should consider updating firmware for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This is important especially for networking gears such as routers and firewalls. While most IoT manufacturers don’t offer regular firmware updates to patch vulnerabilities, it becomes important to keep your device safe with powerful security software. Furthermore, you should be proactive to install all firmware updates instantly. Here, you can check the manufacturer’s website for regular firmware updates.

Firmware Updates

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Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks: If you are using an open network such as public Wi-Fi, then it is best you should avoid doing important tasks on it. Here, breaching your device security is absolutely easy for attackers with a small piece of malicious software on the open network. Though not suggested, if you still want to use the open network for some important task, then prefer doing it on VPN on your device.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks

Other Security Tips

  • If your smart-device apps offer a two-factor authentication or 2FA feature, then enable it instantly to keep your account safe from bad guys.
  • Audit all IoT devices that are already on your home network to check if newer models could offer stronger security.
  • Disable all unnecessary features such as remote access that you are not using.
  • Check for IoT device’s privacy & security settings and change them if needed.
  • Use strong & unique passwords for Wi-Fi networks and all connected IoT devices. Good password management will make it difficult for attackers to brute-force their way in.
  • Always select reliable brands for IoT devices.

Conclusion

With the increasing efforts to make your network safer & reliable by developers & manufacturers, the efforts by attackers have also increased to target your devices & data. While there are certain measures you can follow to keep your home network & Internet of Things (IoT) devices safe, here we have discussed a few simple yet effective tips for better security. If you know more such measures, then feel free to comment below.

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