Q. How safe will it be to give smart gadgets the password to my Wi-Fi network? Must I be worried and exactly what can I actually do?
A. As researchers have found vulnerabilities in internet-connected bulbs, it is prudent to get wary when connecting smart device to your residence network. Wirelessly linked gadgets like surveillance cameras, thermostats and baby monitors (usually referred to as Internet of Things) happen to be targets for intruders trying to invade or disrupt. A significant article powered by compromised devices brought online visitors to a halt last fall, for example. A complete post in the Heimdal Security blog can provide a solid idea of how intruders can abuse smart devices.
On many occasions, weak security – around the network or even the devices themselves – has left holes for hackers to climb through, however you can shore up your home defenses in many ways. For beginners, be sure your house network router is employing a powerful password and not the default one it was included with out of the box. Your router’s manufacturer needs to have instructions for changing the password.
Some wireless routers allow you to put in place another network that you can use for smart devices, or visitors to ensure they are off your main network. Credit The Newest York Times
You should also change any default passwords on your own smart devices – and use different passwords for each and every one. Make sure to install any available firmware updates or security patches from the company that made the product.
The Department of Homeland Security recommends disabling the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) feature on the router as well as devices as well. UPnP was meant to make connecting devices to some network easier, but additionally, it may let malware using 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 developing a separate network only for your smart devices to keep them isolated in the computers on your own main network. Some routers enable you to create a second network for untrusted users, check the manual to your model to ascertain if this feature is included.
Networking hardware with enhanced security measures to protect connected tools are also beginning to emerge as new defense systems for home users; the Norton Core and F-Secure’s Sense router are two such products on the way.