The idea of having a smart home is quite appealing. Imagine the convenience you can experience by controlling all the devices and features in your home with a smartphone? While so many people have become interested in smart homes, it should also be noted that these homes can be hacked.
Can a Smart Home Be Hacked?
In smart homes, the devices in use are connected to smart controls and apps via the internet. We all know how vulnerable internet processes are in these times. These functions can be hijacked and compromised even without the authentic users knowing a breach has happened.
The tendency for smart homes to be hacked has caused some concerns in the tech world. However, many manufacturers of smart homes have indicated that the demand for their products has not declined, even with cyber threats. We can, therefore, assume that the protective measures to prevent smart homes from being hacked are working.
Reasons for hacking smart homes
The main aim of hacking smart homes is for financial gain ultimately, but smart homes can be hacked for different reasons. I have identified some of the reasons hackers go after smart homes
This is one of the major reasons hackers attempt to compromise smart home systems and gain unauthorized access. A lot of personal information can be illegally obtained by hacking devices in smart homes. For example, many people who live in smart homes use voice assistants such as Alexa to perform personal and sometimes confidential tasks online.
Hacking smart locks or the smart garage door controllers can give burglars access to the smart home. They may go after expensive furniture or a safe.
The Internet of Things (IoT) concept has been widely acknowledged and accepted in many parts of the world. It is a smart system where every device in the home becomes fully automated and remotely controlled. However, it also means gaining access to the system through hacking exposes the entire smart home to unauthorized control which can be done remotely.
How smart homes can be hacked
Let’s discuss some ways cyber criminals gain unauthorized access to control the devices in smart homes.
One of the first attempts hackers make when trying to gain access to smart home systems is to get the homeowners password. There are many smart systems that can be used to hack passwords. It can also happen when the homeowner is careless with their private information.
From another perspective, smart voice assistants may also be used to store passwords. If they are hacked the cyber criminals can get access to the information, they need to hack your smart devices. It is recommended that only strong passwords should be used and this information must never be shared with anyone.
Smart homes can also be hacked due to some errors and glitches in how the devices that have been installed operate. For example, we have heard of smart voice assistants randomly recording conversations and sharing information publicly.
Manufacturers of smart devices who do not properly secure their systems and software can also expose users to hackers. From another angle, a disgruntled staff at the company can leak sensitive information that will end up with hackers who will then compromise the system.
The data sent over networks used in smart homes should be properly encrypted to prevent hacking. All smart devices must be connected and communicate with each other. If the encryption used in a smart home is not secure, hackers can take advantage of this loophole to get information such as passwords and login details.
Using freelance repairmen
Smart homes can be exposed to hacking when the smart homeowner engages the services of technicians who are not affiliated with reputable companies. These freelance services can be cheaper and quite attractive. However, there are risks. If the technician who has been employed to fix issues in the smart home has bad intentions, they can store confidential information which can be sold to hackers online.
Downloading uncertified apps
There are so many warnings about downloading third party apps because they are not safe. These risks are real. If you make the mistake of downloading any of these phishing apps on your smart devices, you may have just granted hackers access to your smart home system.
Protecting your smart home from hacking
Thankfully, there are some essential steps you can take to protect your home from unauthorized access by hackers.
Use strong passwords
Yes, it is important to use strong passwords for your smart home hubs, smartphones, and tablets. It is also necessary to change your passwords as often as you can, at least three times a month. Each time you change passwords ensure it is a different combination.
Regular system updates
Reputable companies fund continuous research to identify cyber threats and develop methods to prevent these attacks. The security updates are made available to all users of these devices. However, people who do not update their security modules stand the risk of being hacked.
So to stay protected, ensure all your devices are running on the latest software, you can set the devices to download updates automatically.
Contact manufacturers directly
If you ever encounter any issues with your smart devices, contact the customer service assistants directly. You can find the contact details on the devices or apps for such products. Next, they will help you troubleshoot the device or send a certified technician over to assist you.
Install a responsive antivirus
If you use a smart home hub, you should consider installing antivirus to protect the entire system. These products usually feature malware and firewall services to protect your smart home. The chances are that hackers will be discouraged from trying to gain illegal access to your smart home system when they encounter these preventive measures.
In conclusion, it will be helpful to know how these things work. You should make an effort to stay updated with the current market and industry trends regarding smart homes. The technology is evolving, and there is a lot of information out there that can give you more ideas to protect your smart home from hackers.