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The Cybersecurity Risks of Smart Homes

Smart home control on tablet. Interior of living room in the background

As technology advances and gadgets become more affordable, smart homes are on the rise.

According to the National Council for Home Security and Safety, 81% of consumers say that they would be more likely to purchase a home with smart home products.  This means that a growing number of homes will have more gadgets attached to their smart phones. From locks and alarms to lighting and even carbon monoxide detectors, smart gadgets have the ability to control many features of our homes.

While these may be convenient, there are cybersecurity risks with the gadgets. The inevitable wave of smart technology means that these devices are hackable. Hackers can access smart home devices through weak access points, controlling thermostats, lighting, and even cameras.

What are steps you can take to protect your home and devices?

  1. Make sure you have password protected wifi. It is generally pretty simple to create a password code for your wireless internet. Most smart house systems also require users to be connected to the home wifi, which means an easy deterrent is to make sure that your wifi is protected by a password and not public.
  2. Regularly evaluate what security updates are available and immediately install them when they are available. Companies are constantly making updates to their system to ensure that any known loopholes in security can be better protected. Installing security updates can take a few minutes, but they can save you peace of mind knowing that your systems are less hackable.
  3. Malware protection is important. Hackers install malware and infect systems. Malware protection helps ensure that your devices are checked regularly and interference from outside viruses are blocked before they are able to infect your devices.
  4. Check to see if your insurance carrier offers any cyber risk solutions for you. Many insurance carriers offer identity theft coverage. While this coverage typically does not include special coverage for home devices, it does provide coverage and professional advice in the event that your personal or financial data is compromised or stolen.

Do you plan on installing some smart devices in your home soon? Check with your trusted insurance advisor to see what steps you can take to keep your home, your family, and your devices safe.

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