Home Technology Cyber Security Concerns of a Homeowner

Cyber Security Concerns of a Homeowner

4 min read

Modern home owners have many concerns that previous homeowners would not have dreamed of having. Today, homeowners have a virtual threat that can come at any time. Hackers are now capable of accessing hardware in your home and using the device to listen to your conversations or more. Obviously, the many devices we have connected to the internet cannot do much to harm our lives directly, however they can provide information to people who are a threat to your safety, your social life style or your financial security. 

WiFi Access Points 

We all have wifi at home and often we use the password the installation guy gave us. These passwords were not meant to be high level security, the technician provided it as a simple solution. All who know that your password is not unique know that your network is at risk to unwanted guests. Given your devices in your home often have cameras, this is a potential window to hackers who are seeking access. When your install technician provides you with a password for your wifi, plan to change it. When selecting a password, plan to write it down and make it accessible for your family and guests, but keep it off of any digital device, as these are susceptible to hackers or other intruders who may see it. When setting a password, go for something unique with numbers, symbols and capital letters. You can check to see how secure your password is by reviewing the most up to date “how quickly a hacker can produce a password” as their performance is constantly getting faster as they evolve to be quicker.  

Smart Appliances & Devices

Does your toaster, microwave oven, or fridge speak to your mobile devices? Given these devices are smarter, they are often connected to the internet for some convenience benefits. However, it is possible your appliances are a security threat to your privacy in your home! Imagine a hacker has gained access to your fridge and can hear your kitchen conversations. While the ability to control appliances remotely through mobile devices may seem advantageous, it also raises concerns about security and privacy.

Avoid Hackers Accessing your Smart Home

The thought of a hacker gaining access to your refrigerator and eavesdropping on your kitchen conversations is alarming. It could be worse, imagine the hacker turning on the water for your fridge and flooding your kitchen. Better call an Emergency plumber! To maintain privacy, control, and protect against potential security threats, it is essential to manage these smart devices properly. Users should prioritize strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and regularly update the devices with the latest firmware to mitigate cybersecurity risks. Being cautious and proactive about the security of smart appliances is crucial for safeguarding privacy within the home environment.

Smart Thermostat

The most common smart device in a home is often the thermostat as many prefer a comfortable home when it is unbearable outside. Hackers can gain access to your home’s temperature and mess up your settings. Many home systems include attic fans to keep the attic temperature stable. A hacker could easily cause this system to fail or overwork till it overheats resulting in fire. While normal attic inspections can help to reduce attic threats to a home, these professionals will not be able to defend your home from a hacker’s access to your smart home, says AtticHealth. The smart thermostat should be properly set up with 2 factor authentication and regularly updating firmware for optimal security performance.

Access Key Folder

Keeping your homes’ appliances and smart devices passwords, warrantees, manuals all in one place may be essential in 2023! Having all these devices requires many of your home’s guests to access them. That can make it difficult to maintain or pass to guests, so we suggest keeping a folder for all these devices’ passwords and manuals. In this folder you can keep up to date maintenance log, notate password changes, software updates, and service calls made to manufacturers. With the many new devices coming in the future, this access key folder may become a common household tool. You also may be relieved to note that, if you keep your access key control folder non-digital, you can keep a hacker from accessing it by simply keeping it closed! 

…The fridge, even with the door closed, is just a little more safe if you follow these cyber security tips. Keep quality passwords, says BU.edu, update firmwares (see here), and change passwords after any security threats or users are no longer welcomed on your network. Keep a log of your passwords handy off the internet where your whole family can access them. Be sure to ask for help from professionals if the job to secure your smart devices or your internet network is too daunting for you. These threats are only worse if you choose not to secure your home. 

Last Updated: July 20, 2023

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