Protecting your smart home from hackers

We previously discussed how making your home “smarter” has its benefits and can even increase your home’s value. Smart home devices have kept us safe from intruders, become more energy efficient and have taken convenience to another level amid our busy lives. Though it may seem like some homes today look like a scene out of “Back to the Future II,” smart devices do come with a risk for hackers who want to take control of your thermostat, voice assistant and refrigerator. Since we’re in the middle of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I’m offering some tips to enjoy your smart home while also protecting your devices from cyberattacks. 

Secure your Wi-Fi network. 

Don’t just plug in your Wi-Fi router into your wall when you take it straight out of the box. Most of these devices come with generic passwords that hackers can easily identify and infiltrate. Create a custom password. While you’re at it, also create a new network name, instead of the router’s default name. Get your kids involved and let them have some fun with selecting a clever name!

Additionally, check to see that your router is not outdated. Older routers have older safety protocols, making your home more vulnerable to attacks. Make sure your router is compatible with Wi-Fi 6. If not, it’s time to upgrade. 

Set up passwords and two-factor identification.

Each smart device you hook up requires its own account to connect to your smartphone through a mobile app. Resist the temptation to use the same password for every account or resort to a generic password like “123456789.” Once a hacker figures out one password, the easier it is to access your other devices. If you have trouble remembering passwords, consider using a password manager like Keeper or LastPass that remembers for you. 

Host your devices on a separate network.

Many routers today allow you to create more than one Wi-Fi network. The FBI recommends you keep your smart home devices on one network and other devices like your home computer and mobile devices on a separate one. If a hacker can get into one device, that can open up more opportunities to access more sensitive information.

Smart home devices are becoming the norm – from our kitchen appliances to home security systems to our friendly voice assistants. Each device does open up vulnerabilities to attackers, but if you take the right precautions, you can safely enjoy the conveniences and advantages of smart home devices. If you have questions on how you can increase your home’s value with smart technology before selling, contact me today at