IoT devices are becoming more and more popular, which is why they’re perfect targets for hackers. Wherever there’s a device connected to the internet, hackers come lurking.

So, if you have a smart home full of IoT devices, you need to make sure you protect it. The more connected devices you have, the more entry points you offer to criminals if you don’t take the necessary precautions. If a hacker gets into your network, they could steal your passwords, or install ransomware. They can even find out when you’re not home, to know when they can break in.

These are only some of the security threats that come with IoT devices. To fully protect your home, be sure to take all the following steps.

 

Assign Your Router a New Name

Your WiFi router is your starting point for securing your smart home. You use it to connect all your IoT devices, which is why it’s also often a starting point for hackers.

If a hacker gains access to your router, they could steal your usernames and passwords. That would make it easy for them to gain access to all your devices and accounts.

One way to prevent this is to give your router a different name than what the manufacturer gave it. If you don’t change it, a potential hacker could find out its model, and then hack it.

Come up with a name that doesn’t have anything to do with your personal information or your address.

 

Use Strong Passwords

Use strong passwords for both your WiFi network and all your devices. A strong password is a combination of letters (both upper- and lower-case), numbers, and symbols. Again, don’t use any personal identifiers, or anything else that a hacker could guess.

Using a password manager is smart, as it gives you a master password for all your other passwords. It’s great because it regularly generates a new master password. So, if anyone manages to crack it, it will continue to generate new ones, making account access impossible.

 

Take Advantage of Two-Factor Authentication

If your IoT devices offer two-factor authentication (2FA), be sure to use it. When you do, you’ll receive a one-time code on your phone every time you try to log into your accounts. This means that potential hackers won’t be able to access your accounts unless they have your phone.

 

Set Up a Guest WiFi Network for Your Smart Home

Setting up a guest WiFi network is yet another necessary step for securing your home. If you let your friends and other guests connect to your main network, you put your home at great risk.

This is because a potential hacker could gain access to their smartphones or tablets. If they do, they can access all your IoT devices and accounts. This is especially alarming if your guests don’t have proper protection against hackers on their devices.

Thus, a simple visit from your friends could let cybercriminals into your smart home system. That’s why you should set up a guest Wi-Fi network and keep your main network private.

 

Regularly Update Your IoT Devices’ Software

It’s paramount that you keep all your connected devices up-to-date. Every single software update comes with security patches, bug fixes, and various other solutions for security vulnerabilities. So, never postpone software update installation.

This goes for your smartphone as well, if you use it to connect remotely to your IoT devices. Regularly check for updates for every device in your home, and you’ll have much stronger security.

 

Use a Mobile VPN

A mobile VPN is a service you can install on your smartphone. It will encrypt your internet connection and hide all your online activity. If you manage your IoT devices through your phone, a mobile VPN is an absolute must.

With a mobile VPN, cybercriminals won’t be able to access your network. They won’t be able to steal your usernames and passwords and gain access to your accounts.

This is especially important if you want to remotely manage your IoT devices using public WiFi. Public wireless hotspots are not encrypted, but a mobile VPN similar to this one  will encrypt your connection.

The Internet of Things is very convenient, as it can make your life much easier. However, it comes with a lot of cybersecurity threats you must be aware of.

So, make sure you follow all the tips mentioned above. They include the most critical steps you should take to ensure your home security when using the IoT. Take each of these steps, and you’ll make sure that you and your family have a safe and secure home.