Connecting smart devices to the internet can feel like you’re exposing your home to dangerous software or hackers.
This guide looks at whether you should be worried and what you can do to stay a little bit safer.
In short, yes. Connecting your TV, heating, speakers and other things to the internet is as safe as it can be.
Data shared between your home and the internet is always encrypted, so even if someone manages to intercept it somehow, they can’t do anything with it.
You can find more about security and the different types of smart tech below.
A smart home has lighting, heating, and security devices that are all connected to the internet.
If your router and phone have strong passwords, there’s no reason that anyone could get access to your network. Just make sure only people you know connect to your network and no one else knows your phone/tablet password.
Any devices that link to a hub (like SmartThings or Phillips Hue) don’t connect to the internet themselves, which stops their signals from being picked up by other people or devices.
You might’ve seen reports about people ‘hacking’ baby monitors and talking to children using the built-in speaker.
Most of these incidents happened due to the owners not changing the generic passwords that come with the cameras, which are widely available online in user manuals and help guides.
If you have a smart baby monitor or camera, make sure you change the password to something only you know. And as above, make sure your Wi-Fi password is secure.
Smart locks have either a keypad or ‘smart keys’. These keys are installed on your phone and secured behind passwords, pin codes, or the fingerprint/face scanner on your phone.
The keys or passwords have to be assigned by you to other people, so make sure you only give them out to someone you trust.
A few companies have been in the news due to a software vulnerability that allowed people with a lot of computing knowledge to duplicate keys. As soon as this was made public, updates were sent out to all the software that controls the locks. If any smart security app starts an upgrade, let it finish, as it might be fixing a security flaw.
These things are worth bearing in mind if you have smart tech in your home:
• Change the passwords that come with your devices
• Change your router password
• Make sure your phone has a lock screen (password, PIN, fingerprint, face scanner)
• Always install updates