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Welcome to the world where nanny cams rotate around the room by themselves, voice-controlled devices are calling people at random, and smart lights will turn on and off unexpectedly. These situations are what smart-home nightmares are made of and make people second guess the advantages of the internet-of-things (IoT).

The good news? A smart home can be secured from hacking with little effort:

  • Change the admin user ID and password on the modem and/or WiFi router connected to the internet. As we’ve mentioned here before, all modems and WiFi routers can be accessed remotely, and the default IDs and passwords can be found on the internet.
    • Don’t let the internet technician who installed the modem leave your home until you’ve done this.
  • Change the admin user ID and password on the IoT hub (e.g. Vera Hub, Samsung SmartThings) that will connect to smart devices throughout the home or office.
  • Make sure you download the app provided by your smart device company (e.g. Ring, SimpliSafe, Vera) on your iOS or Android phone.
    • Don’t use an app developed by a third party to control a smart device. Use a strong password with a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Use IoT devices provided by known name brands (e.g. Ring, Google, Apple, GE, Phillips, etc.) for all critical applications. Generic devices are typically hard to set up and properly secure. This is especially true with nanny cams and other video or audio recording devices.
  • Stick to name brand voice-activated devices, because they are always listening. Voice-activated devices like smart phones, Alexa or Google Home, TVs, and remotes are helpful when hands are full. These devices provide a variety of ways to be secured as they are set up for the first time.

There is no reason to avoid using IoT to create a smarter home or business as long as you consider basic security along the way.


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