Are you looking to make your home a “smart” one? While there are a lot of smart devices on the market, how do you choose the right ones for you?
In this article, we share the most important things to consider when choosing smart devices and how to protect them from being hacked.
5 things to consider when choosing a smart home devices
Which Voice Assistant Will You Use?
A voice assistant is a tool that helps control devices in your home. The popular options include the following:
- Amazon Alexa – It’s an excellent choice for a large smart home due to its wide range of supported devices.
- Google Assistant – Go with this option if you have Android-powered smart devices.
- Apple Siri – Some Apple appliances might only work with Siri, so it’s your best choice if you’re an Apple fan.
What Devices You Will Need?
A fully-automated home sounds great, but the setup could be difficult. If using apps, it could be a hassle to switch from one app to another when you could just flip a switch.
The smart features should simplify controlling an appliance. While choosing a smart device, consider if it’s more convenient than the standard version.
Some of the most popular smart devices include speakers for the living room, a fridge for the kitchen, and a washer for the bathroom. Depending on your preference, you could find smart coffee markers, faucets, herb gardens, ice machines, microwaves, etc.
Is It Easy to “Talk” to Your Devices?
If you plan to communicate with the devices in English, any voice assistant will do. However, it’s possible to issue commands to smart devices in other languages, too.
All three major assistant brands support various languages and dialects, from German and French to Chinese and Japanese.
Siri might have limited functions in some countries, while Alexa and Google Assistant offer more options.
What’s the Estimated Budget for a Smart Home?
Smart features make devices more expensive than their standard counterparts. Analyze the prices and prioritize the appliance you need in your home.
For instance, if you’re on a budget and smart speakers are not a necessity, you can postpone buying them and choose an intelligent fridge instead. There’s a smart option for any house and every budget out there.
Is Your Network Safe?
Your smart devices will work via your home Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, it’s a vulnerable point that hackers may use to steal your data or disrupt your network.
Make sure to replace outdated routers and don’t leave your Wi-Fi network password-free.
Also, regularly updating the router will help you to keep up with the latest security protocols. Manufacturers release updates to add new features and remove bugs. Ensuring you have the latest version minimizes the risk of security vulnerabilities.
How Can Someone Hack Your Smart Home Devices?
There are four primary ways a hacker could attack your smart home devices!
#1. They Can Hack Directly into the Smart Devices
If your smart TV lacks encryption, a cybercriminal could hack into it and browse the data inside. Even worse, they can potentially intercept payments conducted via the TV or look for potential gaps in your home security. To avoid this use a reliable VPN.
If you wonder “what is VPN,” the answer is it could be your best companion in maintaining internet privacy.
Virtual private networks hide your web activity from ISPs and other potentially dangerous parties. It’s why VPNs are an integral component of securing your network.
#2. They Can Use Storage Devices Connected to the Network
The default passwords are often easy to figure out. We strongly recommend you to use a password that contains letters, numbers, and symbols or opt for a reliable password manager that’ll create unique passwords for you.
If a cybercriminal hacks your password to enter the device, they can potentially inject malware and infect your entire system.
#3. They Can Hack Your Internet Router
Your ISP monitors your internet activity and compromises your privacy. If a hacker takes over, they could acquire your sensitive personal information easily. To avoid this, use a VPN that’ll serve as an intermediate point between your router and the ISP.
#4. They Can Use any Device Connected to Your Network
Unfortunately, every new device connecting to your Wi-Fi network can potentially attract cyber criminals. It means that when you have some friends over and they log into your Wi-Fi, they become targets as well.
We recommend sharing your Wi-Fi password only among household members and guests who you know take care of their cybersecurity.
While there are plenty of smart home devices on the market and they can significantly make your life easier, this extra comfort comes with extra risks.
Pick only necessary devices and make sure to keep them secure from hackers. To do so, regularly check for updates, install a reliable VPN, and use strong passwords.
These simple steps will help you to enjoy having a smart home without worrying that it can get hacked.