Smart devices, from voice-activated assistants to smart bulbs and thermostats, are becoming more and more prevalent in American homes. While these devices offer convenience and more control over your home, they can leave you at risk for privacy and security issues.
Before you invest in the latest smart oven or dishwasher, learn how the connectivity of these devices may be harmful — and what you can do to reduce the risks.
Every smart device can be remotely used. You can also set up automation, such as turning on lights at a certain time or changing the temperature of your home during specific hours. But it’s important to remember that everything connected to the Internet has the potential to be hacked. If a hacker gets into your network, they can do anything from turn on your smart oven to unlock doors.
Maintain good network security by using a complex Wi-Fi password and keeping it private. Also, review and carefully manage the permissions of your apps and devices on a regular basis. If remote control access is unnecessary or can be disconnected from the Internet, you should probably leave it disconnected.
Voice assistants allow you to make easy purchases from Amazon, the Google Play store and other retailers. But if your children figure this out or your device gets hacked, you may end up with more packages arriving at your door — and higher credit card bills.
To prevent others from ordering items through your assistant, you should disable voice purchases. Instead, order through an app or website. You can also allow purchases through PIN activation only and keep your PIN private.
Just as hackers can get control of devices, they can access any information associated with those devices. If you have credit card information or passwords saved with Google or Amazon accounts, they may be able to get that information by hacking your smart devices. Again, maintaining Internet security is vital with smart devices.
If your Wi-Fi goes out, you still need to be able to control lights, door locks, and other smart devices you use each day. Ensure all devices you purchase can be operated in other ways to avoid a house-wide shut down.
You can minimize many security and privacy risks by staying on top of your smart devices. Remember to:
More and more homes are acquiring smart devices. As technologies continue to improve and become integrated into homes, these simple steps can help lessen your home security vulnerability and concerns. You can still use smart devices in your home — as long as you stay smart, too.
Feel free to reach out and connect with us if you have additional questions on the best ways to protect your home and privacy.
At General Insurance Services, we are a team of insurance professionals with an array of experience, backgrounds, and interests. We’re advisors with a mission to secure the future of the communities we serve. Share our knowledge through this blog allows us to get one step closer to achieving our mission.