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5 Ways to Protect Your Home Gadgets From Hacking

11 Sep 2017

Tips & Advice

Image credit: jeferrb / Pixabay

The recent Google Docs phishing scam reminds us of the importance of cybersecurity. Too often, we think ‘hacking’ only happens to the large corporations or governments, but the truth is that anyone with a connection to an Internet network can be a victim of cyberattacks. The security of home devices is overlooked. With the growing popularity of smart connected devices at home, it’s more important than ever to be aware of how to keep your home gadgets secure. Here’s 5 ways how:

1. Get educated

Image credit: Markus Spiske / Unsplash

It’s a myth that to understand hacking, we’ll need to know about coding and firewalls and all the other cool stuff we see in the movies. In reality, cybersecurity can be as simple as keeping your passwords secret! Essentially, the first step to making your home gadgets more secure is understanding why they should be, and learning the methods to make this happen. By reading this article, you’ve already taken your first step.

2. Change your passwords

Image credit: Brian Jefferly Beggerly / Flickr

Many smart home appliances come with a default password, which users are advised to change. However, this simple but crucial step is usually forgotten. Without changing the password, others will be able to access your home devices. You’re careful to lock your doors to not let strangers in – why not do the same for the virtual door to your home? Change your password, you don’t want to find your home featured on this CCTV directory for all to see!

3. Monitor Your Devices

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While we’re very aware of our emails, social media accounts and even computers, we don’t pay the same attention to our smart fridges, televisions or other home gadgets. Neglecting our home appliances could allow malicious softwares to go undetected, or allow complete strangers with unlimited access to your life. Review your devices’ log history to make sure you’re the only one accessing them!

4. Use a VPN

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

A Virtual Private Network allows you to stay connected to the Internet while maintaining your privacy and security. Exposing your home devices to an unsecured network creates a vulnerability that hackers can exploit. A home-based VPN for your gadgets will help keep them safe, and it’s incredibly easy to set up!

5. Update the firmware

Image credit: warrenski / Flickr

It’s a never-ending game of catch up between hackers and appliance manufacturers. As hackers try to exploit weak points, and manufacturers try to patch them up, homeowners are caught in the middle. With this in mind, the least we can do is to make sure our firmware is up to date. Some products push updates automatically, but the majority don’t. Be proactive in securing your devices and check for updates every month.

A man’s home is his castle – and every castle should have the right defenses. Keep your home secure by making sure your smart devices can’t be hacked into.

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