In today's world, we rely more and more heavily on technology. This extends into our homes. In fact, many San Antonio homes include smart technology of some sort. Over 70 million American households use an Amazon ("Alexa" and Echo), Apple ("Siri") or Google Home system. Even certain coffee pots, refrigerators, televisions, thermostats, lawn sprinklers, and washing machines come with internet connectivity options. What about paid streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? When you add on tablets, personal computers, laptops and smart security systems, your San Antonio home becomes vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Thieves use this as a way to gather personal data and infiltrate your banking or other financial information. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your smart home features secure. But you should do these right away.
Keeping Your Smart Home Features Secure
Keep Up With Your Updates
Whenever you buy new smart home features, make sure you know how to perform regular updates. Some systems execute these automatically. However, it's always good to know how to manually implement them. On your computer, bookmark the websites for the manufacturer of each smart home feature. Check these sites often for updates. It might take a little while for the manufacturer to contact you about updates. So, you must be vigilant and proactive. Do this every month or two to stay on top of any new updates available. If need be, set up a reminder on your smartphone or a physical calendar located somewhere easy for you to see on a daily basis.
Most smart home features require a password of some kind. Many features automatically include a username and password. Change it as soon as you get it home. It's important to keep the password easy enough to remember but complex enough to thwart cyber thieves. Use a mixture of upper and lower case letters as well as characters and numbers whenever possible. Change your password every few months. It might help to write down the device and the associated username and password in a notebook somewhere. This keeps it out of cyber thieves' hands and in a place where you can locate it easily.
Cyber attacks most often happen through a home's internet hookup. Securing that network adds another layer of security to your smart home features. Ask your internet provider if they can set you up with a separate WiFi network. Then, set up all your smart devices to route through the separate system. Any device that you access your personal financial information from should be set up on a separate line from your other smart home features. And never share your WiFi password with neighbors.
Stick With Brands You Know
Finally, keeping your smart home features secure may be as simple as sticking with what you know. Do your research before you buy. Check out online reviews. Instead of a knock-off brand that you never heard of before, shell out a little more for the Google, Apple or Amazon brands. They regularly update when a new cyber threat comes up. Knock-offs might not.
Smart home features afford San Antonio homeowners a better lifestyle in so many ways. But they also open us up to possible cyber attacks. Feel free to embrace technology. Just make sure you do your homework first.
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