Smart gadgets like speakers, phones, clocks, cameras etc are made to help make our lives better. Everyday more and smart devices find there selfs in our shopping carts all around the world. And while these devices are very helpful to us, there can easily be broken into by hackers of different sort.
After installation and set-up most of us do not usually re-examine our router settings which serves our home internet as well as being the main hub where all smart home devices communicates. We often blindly assume its working just fine, just like the day we bought it and this is exactly why hackers could possibly break into your home network and cause a lot of serious problems for you without you even knowing.
Hackers often feed on the ignorance of the masses. Mostly those who do not have the full knowledge on how to better protect themselves from hackers. Which is why it is important to know how to protect your smart home gadgets and devices from these attacks.
Whether it has happened to you before or it hasn’t, knowing exactly how to protect yourself will go a long way in keeping your personal information and device safe from hackers.
Also Dont be surprised to find out that your smart home devices may had already been hacked with out you even know, and with smart indoor security cameras like Wyze, Arlo and Ring, hackers may be spying on you and your family when you are at home.
But its never too late to take action, you can block as well as prevent future attack from these hackers who are always out trying to break into your devices. You should also remember that every smart device connected to your network is always at a risk of attack.
Having this in your mind will help keep you at your toes when it comes to your smart home devices and keeping caution as to their safety. Hackers do not relent and the slightest opening/vulnerability they detect, they try to break in and cause harm, which is why you should be very cautious. And this article has been specially written meticulously to help you keep your smart devices and smart home safe from hackers.
Now that we have acquainted ourselves to the reason why you need to keep attention to your router, now we must press further to how we can remedy this situation.
Regular or automatic updates
Sometimes, a router may get an update and you may not know about it. Although, newer routers tend to download these updates automatically and almost all the router have options to update the firmware both automatically and manually. If yours is not set at automatic update, you might need to keep checking for firmware updates. preferably, after every three months.
To update your router software you will to login to your router admin panel, by typing in your IP address into your browser search bar > input your details > go to “Advanced”, “Management” or “Settings” > and navigate to software update. You can also find this written on the user guide for the particular brand of your router.
If your router has an option in your router’s settings to enables automatic updates, i strongly advice you turn it on, so as to always updates your firmware automatically when a new update is available.
Most routers support multiple access security protocols, but as we all know some WIFI Encryption methods are stronger than others. For now, the most popular Wi-Fi security protocol is the Wi-Fi protected Access 3 (WPA3) encryption. Although this standard is over a decade old, if you are shopping for a new router, make sure the router supports WPA3. This is still the latest wireless standard that is available.
If you were required to input a password when setting up your router then, it means that your router default encryption method is WPA3 and you are set. After that it is recommended for you to regularly change your password, just incase the hackers have access to the current password.
But just incase your router deos not have this setting set by default, go to the router’s admin menu > Under the wireless or Security menu > you should be able to find encryption, then you choose your the WPA3 and set your password.
If however, your router is not compatible with the WPA3, the “WPA-PSK AES” is the next most secure option. If you have older gadgets on your Wi-Fi network, you might have to select “WPA2-PSK AES + WPA-PSK TKIP” to get them working.
When setting your router Wi-Fi security, it is important never to select “Open,” because it means there wont be any security or password needed to connect to your network.
A Built-in Firewall
The firewall is one of the best security tools that has been built into your router. Almost all the router from the last decade has a firewall in one form or the other. Although, not every router labels its firewall the same. You usually find this feature under your router’s advanced settings like “NAT filtering,” “port forwarding,” “port filtering” or “services blocking.”
These settings allows you to tweak incoming and outgoing data ports of your network and protect it from outsiders. Although, you should be extremely careful with these setting. Because Misconfiguring your ports can make it much easy for hackers to enter.
Optimized Quad9 DNS settings
You can also check out the Quado9 Domain Name System service, maintained by cybersecurity advocates at IBM and The Global Cyber Alliance. Once set to DNS service, every time you click on a web link, Quad9 will check the site based on the IBM X-Force threat intelligence database, which contains more than 40 billion analyzed web pages and images.
No remote Access
If you have ever had a technician take over while you were on the phone, then you are probably familiar with “remote administration,” which is commonly used in tech support. Hackers and scammers alike find remote access an easy path to a home network.
One of the pillars of several security flaws found in Windows is Remote desktop management. You are better off disabling these settings altogether when it comes to your devicerouter. You can find this in your router settings under the “Remote Administration” heading.