Keep a Smart Home Safe

by Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals

Last week we discussed smart home technology; this week let’s talk about keeping your smart home safe. Make security your priority when it comes to home tech. It’s still up to you to learn how to secure the connected devices throughout your smart home.

IoT (Internet of Things): Gives devices the ability to connect to the Internet and then to each other. Puts the “smart” in smart home, but also offers new points of entry for cybercriminals.

WiFi (Wireless Internet Connection): Front door to your smart home. Make sure your door is solid and equipped with strong locks, in case cybercriminals come knocking.

VPN (Virtual Private Network): The Ultimate Padlock. The benefits include making it more difficult for hackers to access your internet behaviors, drastically reducing your risk of a compromised WiFi connection and limits exposure to spyware—software that observes your browsing habits to serve you those unwanted ads. Download trusted VPN programs for smartphones and desktops such as NordVPN or Cloudflare

Here are a few smart home safety tips:

• Avoid Public WiFi without using a trusted VPN. Forgot to turn off your lights? If you need to do it through your phone, avoid using the public coffee shop WiFi unless you have a VPN installed. Wait for a more secure network, like your office.

• Create sTROng P4ssWoRdS! Use at least 12 characters with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid family or personal data, like your pet’s name or your last name; sequences of letters or numbers on the keyboard, like QWERTY or 12345, etc.; phone numbers or Social Security numbers.

• Read all product reviews. Avoid buying from unknown sources. Always purchase from a trusted retailer and make sure the product has upstanding reviews from users.

• Update Regularly, update apps as prompted. This updates the “firmware,” which fixes bugs and reduces your risk of being hacked.

• Invest in Anti-Virus and/or Malware Solution. Protects your devices from bugs, scams and viruses. Free ones are available, but it is highly recommended to pay for the extra features on the full versions. Full version of MalwareBytes is fairly inexpensive and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to fully protect you from online attacks.

• Give your router a name, use a strong encryption method for WiFi, change default usernames and passwords, set up a guest network to keep your WiFi account private.

• Use Two-Step authentication such as a one-time code sent to your cell phone.

Hope these help. Until next week….

Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals LLC, 1070 E Chestnut Ave, Vineland, NJ 08360; 856-692-EXIT; Cell: 856-362-0967; Direct: 888-856-5455; TheJillTeam.com; E-mail: TeamJill@ExitHomePros.com; Text JillS to 85377 for my mobile business card. Listen to Jill on 99.9FM SNJ Radio Today. Source: 2019 Buffini & Company

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