PREMIER Homeowner News
By Christina Dube
Don’t Neglect Your Home Security’s Health
Thousands of people are being asked to work and study from home during the current Coronavirus epidemic. Video conferences and virtual classrooms are sweeping through many large US cities. Internet enabled cameras in the home aren’t new, but with this spike in usage, let’s take the opportunity to focus on keeping your home and family safe from hackers.
IoT – or “internet of things” devices make life easier by connecting our home functions to the internet so we can control them remotely. Obviously, this also creates a vulnerability. The online data provided by thermostat usage alone can implicate when someone is home or not. Add to that vulnerability the cameras featured on IoT devices such as security systems, SmartTVs, even our exercise equipment. If it has an app and connects to the internet, it can be hacked.
Password Protect Yourself –
We all remember last December, when a hacker accessed the Ring nanny cam in a Mississippi family’s home and started talking to their 8-year-old daughter. Scarier still, the hacker was only “discovered” because they decided to speak. The hack in this case was done by stealing the homeowner’s password. We’re often advised to change our passwords and make them random, so they are difficult for hackers to guess. The frequent task of resetting, confirming, and then remembering the dozens of “difficult” passwords needed to conduct our daily lives, is an annoying deterrent. Password Managers solve this problem using encryption to safely generate, store and auto-populate your passwords. Using a Password Manager, like Keeper, or 1Password, means you don’t have to remember your passwords, and makes them almost impossible to hack.
Most Secure Security –
Firewalla is a smart firewall that monitors network traffic and alerts you via an app if you experience a cyber-attack, and it will block hackers and cyber thieves from being able to breach smart home devices to steal person information. We like this product because it’s a small, simple, and affordable plug-in device without subscription fees.
When shopping for home security cameras, look for companies like Amazon, Nest and Ring, that offer 2 factor authentications, use encryption and don’t share your data.
Lastly, using a piece of tape to cover your laptop or SmartTV camera and microphone is something even Mark Zuckerberg does. This may seem like a low-tech method for protection but with thousands of employees staying put from coronavirus, an abundance of caution is key to staying safe.