Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Protecting Your Data at Home

October 3, 2016

Our homes are becoming increasingly connected to the outside world through "smart" devices, which work together over your Wi-Fi network to make your home more comfortable, safe, and convenient. Common smart devices include thermostats, televisions, light bulbs, and surveillance systems.

How to Secure Your Smart Devices

With all of this convenience comes a great deal of risk. Internet-connected smart devices can become a target for hackers, so it's important to configure them in a way that doesn't put your home — or your data — at risk.

Tips for securing your smart devices:

  • Secure your wireless network. Use a wireless router with a good security track record, change its default credentials, and use strong Wi-Fi passwords with the highest level of encryption. If you use your internet provider's router, consider changing its default account credentials. See our tips on securing your home Wi-Fi network
  • Enable automatic software updates. Log in to the device occasionally to make sure it has the latest firmware.
  • Change all default accounts and passwords. Don’t use the same username and password across all of your smart devices; make sure each device has a unique username and password. Use multi-factor authentication where available. See our password strength best practices
  • Do not log in to your smart devices from shared public computers (e.g., hotel business centers). This will prevent key logging of your usernames and passwords for those devices.
  • Prevent unwanted physical access to your smart devices. Make sure people you don't know or trust can't tamper with your devices.
  • Consider creating a separate Wi-Fi network for your smart devices. Attackers may breach a smart device as a way to attack the rest of your home network, including your computers and mobile devices.

Upcoming Themes

  • Cyber from Home to the Parking Lot — October 10-14
  • Protecting Your Online Identity — October 17-21
  • Being Smart About Your Smartphone — October 24-28
  • Talking to Your Family and Friends About Cybersecurity — October 31

If you have any questions, please contact your ACA Aponix consultant or email us at info@acaaponix.com.