Security and Privacy in the Connected Home

Dec 12, 2019Blog

When it comes to home security, you might think of locked doors and alarms. When it comes to privacy and security, your first thought might be closing the curtains or blocking unknown phone numbers. But in the digital age, “home security” and “privacy” have a whole new meaning when we factor in all of the connected devices within our homes.

Locking your doors and blocking unknown phone calls are still important ways to keep protected. But when it comes to your home and personal security, putting your focus on Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is a must.

Studies say that people are not concerned enough about a secure home network

To make our homes safe and secure, we must think digitally. An ESET survey polled 4,000 people (2,000 Americans and 2,000 Canadians) to see how they think about privacy and security when it comes to smart home technology. The main idea: Are people concerned enough about smart home security and privacy?

Here are some of the results. Out of the 4,000 respondents:

  • 25% stream content through Apple TV or Roku
  • 6% through a smart TV
  • 23% from a mobile device
  • 7% from a PC

The survey asked the same pool of respondents if there were any concerns about privacy while using their connected devices, for example, with devices like smart TVs since they offer a way for cyber attackers to get into our homes. Roughly 21.6% percent of the respondents said that they were concerned, but nearly double that (41.6%) were not worried about any attacks.

Are any IoT devices safe?

While this survey focused on smart TV devices for this particular question, devices don’t judge. If it’s a connected device, your home network is vulnerable when devices are connected. These devices might not always be the obvious, either. Smartphones are everywhere, but don’t forget about devices like smart light bulbs, smart speakers, smart thermostats. These seemingly harmless devices are also vulnerable as channels for attack.

The good news is that you can control whether your devices are connected. You can also control the security of your entire home network. (Or at least take the steps to making sure it is as strong as it can be).

Your router is the heart

When it comes to securing and managing your home network, everything comes back to your router. It is the central device to your entire home network. Some things you can do when securing your network (when it comes to your router):

  • Make sure you have a secure router. If not, upgrade to a guaranteed secure one.
  • Check your router password and make sure it’s a strong one.
  • Take inventory of the number and type of connected devices you have in your home.
  • Make sure all of your devices are updated with security patches.
  • Ask yourself if the device needs to be “connected”? If not, cut off that channel of attack by turning off the connected feature.

So, are we concerned enough about connected devices?

The short answer is: probably not. At least that’s what studies show. Even with all of the resources out there, many people are not too concerned about their privacy and IoT devices. Maybe it’s due to a lack of being aware of vulnerabilities? At the end of the day, it is important to keep educated on your connected devices and how they work with your home network. The first step is understanding.

Want to learn more about WiFi technology? Stay in-the-know on Wi-Fi networking, changes in the WiFi industry by following the Actiontec blog.

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