How to Secure Your Smart Home

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The Internet of Things has made it simpler than ever to create a smart home in which you can use your smartphone and an app to manage your door locks, lights, thermostats, vacuums, lawn mowers, and even pet feeds. It’s also made it easy (and quite inexpensive) to keep an eye on your house from almost anywhere. Smart security systems are extremely adaptable and may be purchased as DIY kits or as full-fledged systems with expert installation and monitoring.

Home security devices overview

Based on your requirements, you may choose for a self-monitoring system or pay a monthly fee to have your house monitored by specialists who will notify your regional fire and police agencies when alarms are activated. You may even use on-demand monitoring services to keep an eye on your home while you’re away on a trip. Of course, the more covering you have, the higher your rates will be.

If you don’t want to commit to a whole security system, there are lots of standalone devices like indoor and outdoor security cameras, video doorbells, motion sensors, and smart locks that allow you to watch your house from anywhere with your phone or tablet.

Here are a handful of our top smart security devices for your house.

Smart locks

Many smart locks have keypads that allow you to open your door with a four-digit code and secure it with a single button click. However, you don’t have to use the keypad; your smartphone may be used as a remote controller to lock and open the door. When you push the lock button, your safety system will arm, and when you unlock it, it will deactivate.

A smart lock is usually part of a more comprehensive smart home security system, although you don’t need one to use one. If you’re already using a home automation hub to control lights and thermostats, you can easily add a Z-Wave or Zigbee smart lock to the mix. If you don’t have access to a home automation hub, seek for a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth key that includes a mobile phone app. Smart lock are simple to install and utilize conventional pre-drilled holes. Some versions connect to the inside of your door using your current keyed cylinder and deadbolt gear, while others need you to remove your current interior and exterior escutcheons and change the lock and striking equipment.

Most smart locks enable you to set fixed and temporary entry plans for friends and family members depending on different times of the day and days of the week, and they will give you a signal whenever anyone locks or opens a door. Geofencing, which locks and unlocks the door using your phone’s location services, voice initiation using Siri (HomeKit), Google Home, or Amazon Alexa voice control, active support for IFTTT, and incorporation with other smart home products such as video buzzers, outdoor cameras, thermostats, smoke alarms, and linked lighting are all features to look for.

Smart locks come in a variety of styles, notably keyless no-touch locking, touch-screen doors, combo locked and touchpad keys, and locks that can be opened with a biometric fingerprint sensor.

Lights 

You can program your connected lightbulbs, smart light controllers, and smart plugs to go on and off according to your preferences. Configuring smart lightbulbs to turn on and off at various times of the day might make people believe you’re at home while you’re not. You may configure your lights to turn off routinely when your security equipment is set to “away,” or to turn on immediately when your surveillance system is deactivated. If your alarm goes off, you may also configure them to flash.

Door/Window Monitors

Whenever anyone passes a smart doorbell, the motion detectors on the doorbell activate the built-in camera, which begins recording. When a visitor rings the doorbell, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone, and you’ll be capable to see who’s at the door and communicate with them using the 2 different communication features.

Video doorbells allow you to observe who is at the door without actually opening it or even approach it. Whenever anyone approaches your doorstep, these gadgets connect to your Wi-Fi network and transmit an alarm. When the doorbell rings or motion is sensed, they normally capture video and provide two-way audio connection, allowing you to chat with the guest from anywhere using your phone.

Most video doorbells work with your current doorbell wiring (two low-voltage cables) and are simple to set up, but there are also battery-powered variants that can be set up in minutes. Some enable IFTTT and Alexa voice commands and integrate with other smart devices like door locks and sirens.

Camera

Install both outside and interior video cameras for optimal home protection. Smart security cameras may be configured to start recording automatically when motion is detected, and to send push alerts to your phone so you can see the live video.

Look for a camera with a high quality (1080p), a wide-angle lens (140 to 180 degrees), a low light range of up to 25 feet, and low-cost cloud services. It might be useful to be able to view what transpired right before or after a guest arrives at your door. You’ll need a bell that employs pre-buffering to capture what happens before movement is detected or the doorbell is pushed for this to work.

How can you keep your smart gadgets safe?

Smart home security systems, like any other device that goes online and utilizes network communication, are susceptible to hackers, especially if they lack encryption. Hackers may use a computer and software to capture wireless signals from your system, allowing them to silence alarms and deactivate sensors from outside your house. Hackers may use other devices to create radio noise, which can disrupt connections in between devices and the center.

Additionally, gadgets that link to your home network through Wi-Fi, such as surveillance cameras and digital door locks, might be hacked. A competent hacker may then exploit your Wi-Fi gadgets and other shared network to launch DDoS attacks on bigger networks using your Wi-Fi equipment and other network resources. The prospect of someone else seeing footage from your inside and exterior security cameras is maybe even more unsettling.

You may take numerous actions to ensure that your home safety system is protected from hostile cyber invaders. To begin, change the system’s standard password to something unique that includes a combination of letters, numbers, and characters. If at all feasible, update your password on a regular basis. Make absolutely sure your home connection is protected as well. Check your wireless router’s security settings, and investigate products like the Bitdefender Box 2 that give an additional layer of software protection.

To avoid signal jamming, some security system providers utilize frequency hopping technology, while others use inbuilt encryption. Neither feature is typical, so check with the manufacturer if you need an additional layer of protection.

Keep a watch on your camera logs to check if they’ve been accessed. If you witness camera activity at strange hours or when you know no one is home, it might be a sign that your security system has been hacked. Finally, ensure sure all of your linked devices and system software are up to date. Firmware upgrades may help safeguard your system from penetration by addressing security vulnerabilities.

By Jason Thompson

Jason has been passionate about technology since he first got his hands on his Dad's Motorola RAZR. When not re-writing his home, you can find him teaching others how to do the same through numerous training courses.

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