Useful Cybersecurity Tips for Smart Homes

In today's world, the Internet has become an integral part of people's lives. You use it to shop, work, and even control your home remotely. But with this increased connectivity comes a greater risk of cyber attacks that can compromise your data and put you at risk of identity theft or financial loss. This is why it’s so important to take steps to protect yourself online.

Useful Cybersecurity Tips for Smart Homes

One way you can do this is by taking measures to secure your smart home system from potential cyber threats. Here are six useful cybersecurity tips for keeping your smart home safe and secure.

Password and Security Settings

One of the most important steps you can take to protect your smart home is to ensure that all of your connected devices are secured with strong, unique passwords. Make sure that each device has its password, and change them regularly as an extra layer of protection. You should also enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. This adds an additional layer of security by requiring you to enter a one-time passcode sent via text or email to log into your account.

Additionally, if your smart home devices have advanced security settings, make sure to take advantage of them. This could include features like whitelisting certain IP addresses or blocking access from unknown networks.

Home Automation Systems

If you’re using a home automation system, you should always enable the security settings. This will ensure that only you and those you trust can control your devices. According to the smart home automation specialists from Canny Electrics, you can also add extra layers of security by using passwords and two-factor authentication to protect your home automation system. Also, make sure to regularly check for software updates which can help patch any bugs or vulnerabilities in your system.

On the other hand, to further increase the security of your home automation system, it’s a good idea to use a virtual private network (VPN). This will help to encrypt your data and prevent hackers from accessing your information.

Software Updates

Whenever possible, always make sure that you keep all of your connected devices up-to-date with the latest software updates. These often contain bug fixes and security patches that can help protect your devices from potential cyber threats and provide added layers of protection.

Additionally, you should always be on the lookout for suspicious emails or messages that could contain malicious links. If you do receive an email from a sender that you don’t know, it’s best to delete it immediately without clicking on any of the links within it.

Disconnect Unused Devices

Whenever possible, disconnect any devices in your home that you don’t use anymore. This will help to reduce the number of potential entry points for hackers and keep your home more secure.

Let's say you have an old Wi-Fi printer that you no longer use. By disconnecting the device, you’ll reduce the risk of a potential hacker exploiting its outdated security settings to gain access to your network.

And if there are any devices in your home that you don’t use anymore but still need to stay connected, such as security cameras or alarm systems, make sure to keep them up-to-date with the latest software updates.

Data Collection and Storage

It’s also important to be aware of how your smart home devices store and collect data about your activities. Many devices have the option to keep track of things like when you come and go, as well as other activities at home. Be sure to read the policies and understand what data is being collected and how it’s being used before you agree to anything.

For instance, if you have a smart home assistant, be aware of how it stores and processes your data. Make sure that the data is being stored securely, and only used for the purpose intended.

On the other hand, if your device doesn’t have a clear data policy, it’s best to avoid using it altogether.

Physical Security

Finally, don’t forget about the physical security of your smart home devices. Make sure that all of the connected devices are kept out of sight and in a secure place where they can’t be accessed by strangers.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to take steps to prevent any tampering or damage to your devices. This could include putting the devices in a locked cabinet or using tamper-proof cables for added protection.

However, if your devices are visible, make sure to use a privacy filter or cover them with a protective casing. This will help to prevent anyone from accessing the data on your devices without your permission.

device locked

From enabling strong security settings and using two-factor authentication for extra protection, to regularly checking for software updates and disconnecting unused devices - these tips should help you keep your data secure from potential cyber threats. Additionally, be sure that any connected device is kept in a safe place where it cannot be tampered with or accessed by strangers.

Finally, make sure to read the policies before agreeing to anything so that you know how your data will be used and stored securely.

By following these useful cybersecurity tips, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that both your privacy and personal information remain protected while enjoying the convenience of living in a connected home environment.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Useful Cybersecurity Tips for Smart Homes