Q. How safe could it be to present smart gadgets the password to my Wi-Fi network? Must I be worried and what could I really do?
A. As researchers have found vulnerabilities in internet-connected light bulbs, it is advisable to become wary when connecting smart device to your house network. Wirelessly linked gadgets like security cameras, thermostats and baby monitors (usually referred to as Internet of Things) are already targets for intruders planning to invade or disrupt. An important data secure powered by compromised devices brought online targeted traffic to a halt last fall, as an example. A comprehensive post in the Heimdal Security blog can provide you with a solid idea of how intruders can abuse smart devices.
On many occasions, weak security – in the network or even the devices themselves – has left holes for hackers to climb through, however, you can shore up your home defenses in several ways. For starters, make certain your home network router is using a strong password rather than the default one it came with out from the box. Your router’s manufacturer should have instructions for changing the password.
Some wireless routers permit you to put in place an additional network that you can use for smart devices, or visitors to keep them off your primary network. Credit The Newest York Times
You need to change any default passwords in your smart devices – and make use of different passwords for each and every one. Make sure you install any available firmware updates or security patches in the company that made the product.
The Department of Homeland Security recommends disabling the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) feature on the router and then any devices as well. UPnP was designed to make connecting devices into a network easier, but additionally, it may let malware by your firewall and to your network. Your router and device manufacturer also needs to have instructions for turning off UPnP.
Several commercial security companies, including Sophos and Norton, suggest making a separate network exclusively for your smart devices to ensure they are isolated through the computers on your own main network. Some routers let you create a second network for untrusted users, check the manual for your personal model to ascertain if this feature is included.
Networking hardware with enhanced security measures to safeguard connected tools are also starting to emerge as new defense systems for home users; the Norton Core and F-Secure’s Sense router are two such products around the way.