10 Smart Home Security Risks and Vulnerabilities to Be Aware Of

In today’s age of smart technology, state-of-the-art gadgets make our lives easier in several ways. However, these devices can sometimes cause smart home security risks. Here we will look at a few smart home security vulnerabilities you should prepare for when setting up your network. Familiarize yourself with the security risks that come with upgrading your devices, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Targeted Attacks

When you install a smart device in your home, it becomes a vessel for personal information. It knows everything about you including your birthdate and your credit card details. Criminals can steal this information by hacking the devices that do not have the software to prevent these attacks.

The information that is stolen from you can then be used to trick you into shady deals. For example, a hacker could uncover that a close family member has significant debts. They could then send a phony money request on behalf of your relative.

The best way to avoid these attacks is not to share financial information with your smart devices. Additionally, it is intelligent to avoid connecting emails, calendars, and other apps with important information to your smart home network.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is another significant smart home security risk for people in the 21st century. As we mentioned above, your home network is likely to have access to all your essential personal and banking information. If this information gets stolen, your identity is at risk.

When this happens, the hacker can use your credit card as if it were their own. You might think that they will just make a few big purchases like a computer or TV, but it can be worse than that. They can take out a mortgage under your name, and if that takes place, it can be a lot more challenging to get your money back than if they just bought a TV or new computer.

Although it is impossible to 100% protect yourself from identity theft, there are things you can do. Notably, you can limit the personal information that each smart device has access to.

Outdated Software

This topic is relevant to the risks above and the ones that we look at below. Most victims of cyber attacks have outdated software that is easier for hackers to exploit. As a result, you must regularly update your software with the newest security protections.

Additionally, you must purchase your security software from reputable brands. Do not look for cheap deals from small companies with less than stellar reputations. Doing this will put you at risk for cyber attacks.

Furthermore, the software can get outdated fast if you do not remember to update it. Fortunately, you can set must security systems to update automatically every day or every week at a specific time. You need to set this in the setting, but once you do, you will never need to worry about updating your security program again.

Data Manipulation

Cyber attacks are dangerous because they do not leave any tangible evidence at the crime scene. Cyber theft is not like a regular theft where there could be fingerprints or other evidence left behind. If the attacker knows what they are doing, they will leave no evidence behind for you to find.

Furthermore, someone that knows what they are doing can apply cyber knowledge to physical theft. For example, they could replace the existing video feed from your surveillance camera with edited footage so that they do not get caught. The reason this is so easy is that data transmitted from smart devices is usually unencrypted. As a result, it is easier to break into and manipulate.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to make this more difficult for intruders. Notably, you can use advanced networking monitoring tools to alert you to suspicious communications on your home network.

Password Exploitation

Even though people have been using passwords for several decades now, most people are still poor at password selection. Most people secure their home network with a weak password, and they likely use that password for many more accounts.

This type of security lapse makes it easy for intelligent hackers to break into your network and get access to your devices. If a hacker gets access to your network, they could scare you by turning the lights on and off or changing the channels on your TV.

With that in mind, you should always establish strong and unique passwords. A strong password should include lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, you should have a different password for all essential accounts like your email, bank, and home network. Finally, it is a good idea to implement two-factor authentication.

Location Tracking

Location Tracking smart home security risks

When you set up your home security network, you are trusting it to keep your personal information private. Notably, you should want to keep your location as safe as possible. Unfortunately, these devices are not great at keeping your address private from potential hackers. There are several things you could do that could give a hacker access to your location.

The most obvious example would be if you were to click on a malicious link on your phone or computer. While it might sound obvious not to click on malicious links, it is not as easy as you might initially think. Most malicious links are inconspicuous, and as a result, people can fall prey to them without even knowing that they clicked on one. 

After clicking on one of these links, hackers could get access to your exact location, right down to your street address. As a result, you must avoid suspicious links at all times. Take the time to educate yourself on signs that a link is malicious and should be avoided.

Third-Party Flaws

When you set up your smart home, you will quickly learn that several third-party apps can be connected to it. These apps can be used to turn off your lights, close the garage door, or even lock your doors remotely. Unfortunately, if you download an app without secure authorization, other people could download it to impersonate you and operate your smart devices.

There are even some apps that have group permissions. If that is the case, hackers do not even need to physically acquire your phone to get access to your smart devices. When this happens, they could remotely unlock your doors when you are not home. They will then be able to steal whatever they want without much risk.

Rogue Recordings

It is well known that most smart devices listen to you all the time. That is the reason that once you talk about a topic you start to get ads for it when you browse Twitter or Facebook. While that might seem harmless on its own, hackers can use this eavesdropping feature to harm you.

Hackers can exploit security loopholes to break into your digital voice assistants and issue commands. Alternatively, they can steal prior recordings to learn private things about you. 

The best thing you can do is to delete stored recordings on your devices every once in a while. Additionally, you should not pair security devices like cameras or door locks with your virtual assistant. Turning off your speakers when you are not using them is also a good idea.

Home Intrusions

Home intrusions are a significant risk for people all around the world. No matter how advanced society gets, there will always be people trying to steal from others. This is even more true if someone has a smart home. Several home security risks come as a result of just having one.

Unfortunately, most smart devices have unidentified security loopholes that hackers can use to access your personal information. Additionally, they can use these loopholes to turn off security cameras, unlock doors, and break in without a trace. When they do this, they can even lock you out of your own home.

If you are worried about this happening to you, you should consider installing door security braces and a security alarm. Make sure that the alarm is separate from your home security system.

Appliance or Property Damage

Hackers that breach your smart devices can do more than steal digital information. They can switch off critical infrastructure in your home. For example, they could crank your thermostat up, forcing your HVAC system into overdrive. When this happens, there is a high risk of it malfunctioning. They could even turn on your oven when you are not home and cause a fire. These attacks could all happen when you are away from home.

As a result, when you install these devices, you should look for options that let you lock the settings. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of hackers breaking in and causing damage.

Ready to Tackle Your Smart Home Security Risks?

The “smarter” your home gets the more security risks it’s vulnerable to. The sad truth is that you will never be able to 100% protect your home against these security risks. But you should be aware of them and be proactive about protecting your home.

Are smart home systems safe?

There are a few things to consider when answering this question. First, any device that is connected to the internet can be hacked. So you need to be sure that you are taking the necessary precautions to keep your devices safe (e.g., using strong passwords, updating your devices’ firmware as necessary, etc.).

Second, there have been a few cases where hackers have been able to gain control of smart home devices and use them to launch attacks against other internet-connected devices (e.g., thermostats being used to turn up the heat on an office building during summer months). So it’s important to be aware of these risks and take appropriate measures to protect your devices and your home network.

Can smart homes be hacked?

Yes, hackers can hack into smart homes. In fact, any device that is connected to the internet can be hacked. However, there are ways to protect your smart home from hackers, such as using strong passwords and encryption methods.

Hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated, so it’s important to take precautions to protect your devices and your home. always use strong passwords and change them regularly; install security updates as soon as they become available; and use a good antivirus program.

You should also be aware of the potential risks associated with using certain devices in your home, such as baby monitors and security cameras. These devices can be easily hacked if they’re not properly secured.

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