The use of Home automation, smart homes, Internet of Things (IOT) devices continues to grow. This creates more opportunity and risk as hacking bots continue to target these devices as they are easily compromised. Here are some ways to protect yourself.
1) Make sure that your firewall/router have a strong admin password
Slowly, leaving the administrator username/password combination is changing. Never leave it as a default. This is like leaving your front door key taped to the front door. Change the admin username (if possible) as well.
2) Check that your firewall/router and other network protection devices have remote management disabled
By default, many of these devices have the ability to control the firewall via an application remotely turned on. This leaves your device likely to be compromised (taken over), by one of many automated hacking tools running continuously on the internet. Find this setting by logging into your router/firewall. Their is usually and web site that you manage this through.
3) Put your Home Automation / Internet of Things (IOT) devices on a separate subnet.
To provide better protection, isolate these devices away from your computers, smartphones, etc. This protects the less protected devices from becoming the entry point for further attacks on the same network. This doesn’t protect, as much as limit the damage they can cause. It also help makes finding all of the devices in your home a little harder to hackers.
4) Continue to protect your computer and smart phones with anti-malware, anti-virus and firewalls
Websites, messaging apps and applications in general are natural entry points into your computer. Always protect your computers and phones with anti-malware/ anti-virus software. There are free and paid options available.
5) Keep a list of the Devices you have on your home network
Unfortunately, 99.9% of home networks do not stop new devices from entering the network. All they need is to capture the SSID and password to the network and they are free to roam and monitor the traffic (discussions) taking place between devices and each other, as well as devices to the outside world.
6) Scan the list of devices on your network frequently
Find and remove any devices that you don’t expect to be there
7) Patch your devices
Look to see if the devices on your home network have patches. This is tricky, as you need to identify the manufacturer and then find the website where they place updates and patches. Update devices as soon as patches are released.