What if a stranger was using the new security camera you installed as a peephole and taking a peek inside your home?
What if someone else was listening in from your smart home assistant – such as Amazon Alexa or Google Nest Hub?
Smart devices make our lives easier and more efficient. But left unchecked, hackers will find a way to use them to invade into our private lives.
With a few simple steps, you can secure your smart devices and protect yourself and your loved ones.
How do you secure your smart devices against hackers?
While the actual steps involved for each device might be slightly different (listed below in this article), it all boils down to the following two steps:
- Diligently using strong (and different) passwords for your accounts.
- Enabling two-factor authentication.
Bonus Third Point:
Also, always remember to keep the software/firmware/app updated to the lates version. Manufacturers regularly send out updates to fix any existing security vulnerabilities.
What is two-factor (2FA) authentication?
You may not realize it. But you probably have been using two-factor authentication on various sites. For example, if you have every entered a code sent to you via a text message for verification, you have used 2FA.
In simple terms, two factor authentication means you will be granted access to a website, app or service only after successfully completing two forms of authentication generally using the following two methods:
- Something you know (such as username and password for your account)
- Something you have (a text code sent to your smartphone)
Without the 2FA, your account is authenticated only via username and password. 2FA adds and extra step before you can be given access to an account – thereby making it more secure.
A popular method of two-factor authentication is asking you to provide a code sent to you via SMS to your mobile phone.
It becomes that much harder for a hacker to get access to your account when she also needs access to your phone.
Most of the popular sites and services online (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Your Banks etc.) do give you the option of 2FA. You should make a habit of enabling and using 2FA across all accounts.
It’s one extra step but a small price to pay to save a lot of hassle down the road.