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  • 6 Ways to Keep Your Home Automation System Safe

    Keep your home automation system safe from harm by following these helpful tips.

    Home automation offers a litany of benefits – you can turn your lights on and off, lock and unlock your doors, monitor your property via video surveillance, and even adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat, all with just a few taps on your smartphone screen. While home automation systems are designed to make life easier, they can also be easy prey for “home hackers,” i.e., people who exploit vulnerabilities in these systems in order to gain unauthorized access to your home. So what can you do to defend your home against potential hackers? Below are six simple yet effective ways to keep your home automation system safe.

    1. Make sure that your router is secure.

    You would be surprised at how many people never change the password on their router from the manufacturer’s default password, basically giving hackers a wide open door to compromise their home network. Be sure to change your password to something that will be very hard to guess (no birthdays, street addresses or “123password” type codes), and try to include special characters (#, @, ^,*, etc.) and at least one number. In addition, make sure that your router is equipped with WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access) authentication for additional protection.

    2. Keep your smart home applications updated.

    Most smart home device manufacturers will issue regular updates or patches to fix any bugs or security vulnerabilities in the application associated with the device. Be sure to install these updates soon as they are released, so you won’t inadvertently leave the device open to being exploited by hackers.

    3. Check the IP logs on your surveillance camera.

    Most security cameras keep a log of all the IP addresses that have had access to the surveillance camera feed. If you notice any unfamiliar IP addresses (i.e., those that aren’t part of your network) in the IP logs, it could be a sign that someone has gained unauthorized access to your feed. If you suspect that a security breach has occurred, change your password and then notify your security provider.

    4. Change all of your passwords often.

    This includes the password to your router, your home automation application(s) and your cell phone itself. As mentioned earlier, make your passwords strong enough to where they cannot be easily guessed, but if creating passwords is not your strong suit, try using a password generator to help you out.

    5. Change the default port on your IP camera.

    Default settings of practically any kind are an enemy to good security because hackers are well aware that many people won’t go through the trouble of changing these settings before putting their smart home equipment to use. This definitely holds true when it comes to which port you use for your IP camera; if you stick with the default port, you will make it very easy for hackers to discover – and potentially exploit – your camera. Instead, change the default port to add an extra layer of security to your video surveillance system.

    6. Stick with reputable brands.

    One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to purchase home automation products from less-than-reputable manufacturers. More often than not, these companies have not invested the time and resources necessary to provide optimal security measures, making their devices easy targets for hackers. This is why BeHome247 is the best choice for home automation – they’ve been in business since 2006, and they have pioneered many of the innovations that have shaped the home automation industry as we know it today. This is perhaps the most important first step you can take to ensure a more secure home automation system – go with a brand that has a proven track record.

    You don’t have to leave your home vulnerable to malicious cyber thieves. Put the above tips into practice to help keep your home automation system safe and secure.