Smart devices can make life more efficient and convenient, but they can also make it more convenient for bad actors who want to leverage all that smart efficiency to compromise your security and leave you vulnerable to attack.
Here are some tips to help you secure the smart devices in your home:
- Check the settings for all your smart devices and use the latest software. Don’t use the device’s default settings (name, password, etc.). Be sure every device is using the latest firmware or software: if the device doesn’t update automatically, you can download it from the manufacturer’s website, which will also have instructions. While you’re at it, disable any features you don’t need on your smart devices, which gives those bad actors fewer ways to access your home. Finally, you can often program your own “wake word” for devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, making it less likely a bad actor can use the devices to unlock doors, for example.
- Make your wireless router safer. Give your router a new name—don’t use the one it came with and be sure not to use any of your household names (people or pets), any part of your street address, or any name that would give away personal information. Use a strong password and check your router’s manual to be sure you are using WPA2 settings (you can learn more here). You can also create a guest network with a separate password for visitors. In addition to using this for guests to your home, you can connect smart devices to this network, which will limit access to your personal computers and all the information they contain.
- Set up two-factor authentication. Most devices and accounts allow you to set up two-factor authentication, which means you’ll need to confirm your identity with a specific code when you sign in from an unfamiliar device. This can help prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your smart devices and causing trouble.
In addition to these important steps, know that professional identity theft protection can detect additional forms of identity fraud with existing accounts, or criminal, medical, or Social Security misuse. ID360 is available to you at a substantial discount because of your affiliation with Cetera Financial Group. Visit https://www.id360.com/Cetera to learn more.
Please feel free to reach out if you’d like more information about keeping your personal information secure.
"Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of independent retail firms encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors LLC, Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Cetera Investment Services LLC (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions or Cetera Investors), Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, and First Allied Securities, Inc. All firms are members FINRA / SIPC.