Smart homes are becoming the new normal. Connected speakers, such as the HomePod, Alexa, and Google Home, smart TVs and even smart garage doors are growing in popularity.
With an average of 26 connected devices in each household, often there are more devices than you might think, many of which are vulnerable to hacking.
Cybercriminals are increasingly finding innovative ways to exploit the new technologies we are bringing into our homes. You wouldn’t want strangers physically in your home without your knowledge and the same applies if they are virtually there.
Tim Falinski, Senior Director, Consumer, APAC at Trend Micro, provided these tips to help your family stay on top of cybersecurity:
- Change the name of your default home network: Most routers have a default name when you install them which gives away what type of router you have. By changing the default name, you make it harder for would-be hackers to break in and access your devices
- Change default passwords: You’d be surprised, but many don’t do this. Use unique and complex passwords for smart devices, especially for routers, to significantly reduce the possibility of attackers hacking into the devices. This also makes it harder for neighbours or sneaky visitors to access your WiFi without your permission.
- Set up devices for security. Devices, such as phones and tablets, have default settings that don’t always meet your personal security needs. Modify devices’ default settings to keep privacy in check and implement encryption, where possible, to prevent unauthorised monitoring and use of your data.
- Apply timely patches. Patches are included in the updates suggested by your phone, laptop or other devices. By updating the software to its latest version (or enabling the auto-update feature if available) you can avoid unpatched vulnerabilities and help keep your network safe.
- Turn off the network. Switch the network off when you are not using it. This reduces the available time for attacks.
- Disable auto connecting to open WiFi networks: For example, connecting to a neighbour’s WiFi network that is not password protected. Switch this setting off as it is a potential security risk.
- Deflect social engineering tactics: Always be mindful of dodgy emails and visiting unsecured websites.. Emails that come from unknown email addresses, imitating companies – and sometimes even people - you know, are a common tactic. These can be used for spam, phishing, malware, and targeted attacks.
- Secure with software. Secure the home network with software, like Trend Micro’s Home Network Security that protects all devices connected to the home’s WiFi. This helps smart devices, such as your connected fridge or speaker, stay safe.