smart home and IoT devices

How To Keep Your Smart Home and IoT Devices Safe


Making Your Smart Home More Secure: 7 Tips You Can’t Ignore

As you welcome the IoT (Internet of Things) and make your house “smart,” you are probably also making it an “insecure” home.

Undoubtedly, having a more connected house makes your life simpler and more efficient. But as internet-based convenience increases, so does the chance of being a cyberpunk target. These hackers can misuse and steam your banking details and personal information, as well as take control over microphones and smart cameras to spy on you.

In other words, if you own smart gadgets like smart TVs, speakers, refrigerators, thermostats, security cameras, and other such items, your security and privacy may be in jeopardy. These are all multiple entry points that have weak security and could leave you vulnerable to attacks.

The bottom line is that if you invest in a smart home, you should also spend some time and effort securing it. This article will discuss seven important ways to secure your IoT devices and smart home.

#1. Configure Your Router Properly

The entrance to your smart home is your Wi-Fi router. You do not want it to break down if a hacker kicks it. Therefore, starting with your router will help you build a more secure smart home. In addition, the router is what connects all of your IoT gadgets and makes them so important. You should use the following ways to configure a secure router:

  • You Can Alter The Router’s Default Name

Do not stick with the default name of your router, which is generally its brand and model. People may be able to easily access your smart home network if they discover the brand and model by looking up the default login & password.

Therefore, modify it to a strange name that is unrelated to you or your address. Be creative with the name of your router, but do not provide a personal identifier.

  • Use The Highest Level Of Encryption

You can choose the highest level of encryption, WPA2, right now (WPA3 is right around the corner). It could be time for an upgrade if your router only supports the WEP or WPA protocols.

The main IoT targets for hackers are home routers. Consequently, a secure router results in a far more secure smart home.

  • Set Your Password To Something Unique

You can set the router’s password to something genuinely unique, similar to the router’s name. Make your passwords complicated by including letters, numbers, and symbols. Think about creating an almost impenetrable password using a random password generator.

#2. Create A Distinct Wi-Fi Network For IoT Devices

You can create a guest (or secondary) network on several modern routers. Also, you can protect your primary network from IoT threats by setting up a separate network just for your IoT devices.

This entails that family members, guests, and friends can sign in to a network unrelated to your IoT devices. Therefore, only you (and your family) can access your local smart home network.

IoT devices are kept separate by being placed on a different network, so even if hackers were to break in, they would be unable to access any of your more crucial devices, like your smartphone or laptop.

Furthermore, OWASP Foundation board member and cybersecurity thought leader Ofer Maor stated, “I run my home on numerous network segments. There is my “office” network with the NAS, laptops, and all the crucial sensitive components of my house. The majority of my IoT gadgets are on my “Home IoT” network. This restricts a breach—if one of my IoT gadgets is hacked, the hacker might be able to propagate from it to other IoT gadgets but won’t be able to access my laptop or my sensitive information.”

#3. Use Super strong Passwords

In addition to the password for your Wi-Fi network, there are other places where you should ensure your password is strong. For example, in order to utilize your IoT devices, you must first create an account and log in to access them. These login credentials are typically required in mobile applications that are connected to the devices.

Setting distinctive credentials for each IoT device’s application and account is crucial. This ensures that even if one device’s password is stolen, the passwords of all other devices are still secure. The obvious drawback is that you’ll have to remember many passwords, which is a real nuisance. If you record them somewhere, make sure you keep them safe. However, using a password management tool, which can store an endless number of unique passwords, generate new ones, and even sync them between different devices, is a better option than writing down passwords in a secret diary.

#4. Make Sure Your Devices Are Up-To-Date

It is possible that the firmware on your Wi-Fi router won’t automatically update. These updates frequently include very important security patches that can significantly improve the security of your network. Therefore, be sure to check your device every few months manually, and if you discover any pending firmware upgrades, install them immediately. Once again, don’t wait; update right away.

#5. Turn Off Features You Don’t Use

You can control a lot of IoT devices from anywhere in the world. However, turn off remote access if you solely use them on your home’s Wi-Fi connection. Similarly, smart speakers have Bluetooth connectivity besides Wi-Fi. Do not use it? It should be turned off.

Although smart TVs have voice control, this feature is often ignored in voice-controlled homes where smart assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant rule the roost. When hacked, it may seem paranoid, but an active microphone can also be used to force your conversations. Therefore, blocking as many of those numerous entrance points as possible is the main goal of turning off features.

#6. Activate Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (often two) or 2FA adds an additional layer of security over a just password. If you have ever used online banking, you are already familiar with multi-factor authentication. Every time somebody tries to get into your IoT device using two-factor authentication, they must submit an additional form of identification.

Moreover, this proof can be in the form of an OTP (one-time pin) or a verification code sent to your email address or phone demonstrating that the user checking in is actually you.

Many smart devices have the default multifactor authentication feature, but there are a few devices that don’t. In that situation, you can enable 2FA using third-party applications like Google Authenticator.

Even if your Internet of Things (IoT) device includes two-factor authentication through the corresponding mobile application, having an additional layer of security through a reliable third-party service can give you further peace of mind.

#7. Use NGFW (Next-Generation Firewalls)

Although your router has a built-in firewall, it might not be enough. A traditional firewall does not have the necessary security features such as malware protection, IPS (an intrusion prevention system), SSL/SSH interception, QoS management, content filtering, and VPN (a virtual private network).

Moreover, an integrated network platform known as a next-generation firewall combines a traditional firewall with additional security features like the ones just discussed. An NGFW is a powerful tool for protecting and detecting cyberattacks since it has all the features of a traditional firewall.

Although purchasing a next-generation firewall is quite expensive, the increased protection it provides for your smart home makes it worthwhile. In the end, if you can afford the gadgets, you can undoubtedly spend a bit more money to protect them. You are protecting your privacy by doing this.


Securing your smart home and IoT devices is essential to protecting your privacy and data. Following these 7 actionable tips in this article will help secure your devices from hackers and other cyber threats. Keep your firmware up to date, use strong passwords, and be careful what you share online to help keep your home and devices secure. Taking the time to set up security measures will pay off in the long run by protecting your devices and data from hackers. So, don’t wait; take action now to secure your smart home.

Thanks for reading!