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10 reliable methods to secure your IoT devices and home network

When you set up a new smart device in your home, the last thing you want to think about are security risks. In February 2024, popular smart camera producer Wyze was breached again, compromising the accounts of 13,000 users. Some of those affected had their privacy violated when images from within their bedrooms were leaked.

So you might wonder, how can you enjoy all of your Internet of Things (IoT) devices without this happening to you? Rest assured, there are many layers of security you can add so let’s explore 10 ways you can secure your smart house right now…

Related article: Introducing easy and smart security ideas to protect your home
Related article: Your DIY home security checklist

Apple Home pod methods to secure your IoT devices
HomePods and other smart technology make life more convenient but can pose security risks | Follow these tips to secure your home
Just some of the technology that can use wifi
Image via ource: jeferrb

10 surefire ways to protect your smart home from intruders

#1. Pick your devices wisely

Before you join the eager crowds lining up to buy every smart product, consider the necessity of your purchase. Do you really need to spend thousands on a smart toilet

Will a smart umbrella tell you if it’s raining better than looking outside? Consider your smart products wisely, as each device is a possible gateway into your network.

Smart home technology
Image via Sebastian Scholz (Nuki)

#2. Invest in high-quality IoT devices

It’s simple — cheap IoT devices are priced low for a reason. Chances are, there’s little to no in-built security, leaving your network wide open for intruders. 

Instead, opt for higher-end smart devices, as they’ll most likely have stronger security protocols from the get-go.

#3. Create a guest network for IoT devices

If you’ve ever had friends or guests staying over, you might have created a guest network for them to use. Did you know you can use this same feature of your router to protect your data from hackers?

Creating a secondary network solely for your smart devices separates them from your laptops, computers, and mobile devices.

#4. Upgrade your old router

Here’s a crystal clear sign — if you can’t create a secondary network from your router, it’s too old, and you should probably replace it.

Old routers with outdated firewalls are easy-picking for hackers. Pair that with unsecured IoT devices and you have a recipe for disaster.

Methods to secure your IoT devices
Image via Misha Feshchak

#5. Bolster your cyber hygiene

“Cyber hygiene” refers to safe online practices that you should consider every time you use the internet.

Simply, basic cyber hygiene includes:

  • strong, unique passwords
  • secure data backups
  • awareness of phishing and other common scams
  • firewalls, antivirus and VPNs on all devices, and
  • regular software and firmware updates.

#6. Invest in a password manager

If you can remember your passwords, they probably aren’t very secure. On the other hand, no one can remember a different obscure password for every account they own.

Here’s where a password manager is a life-saver. Allow the software to create and store your passwords, usernames, VPN info, PINs, and other sensitive data.

#7. Employ Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) everywhere

You’ve probably come across MFA already, as many accounts are requiring it now. In essence, MFA asks for multiple forms of proof that you are who you say you are.

This can be done through external authentication apps like Google Authenticator or simply by enabling the option in your account’s settings.

Google authenticator offers another layer of security
Image via Ed Hardie

#8. Fortify your router with a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)

Your router already comes equipped with a firewall that keeps the bad guys out. Unfortunately, this firewall is often lacking high-end features like:

  • Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
  • router-wide VPNs
  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), and
  • decrypting and monitoring SSL connections.

If you’re serious about your household cybersecurity, an NGFW is a no-brainer.

#9. Ensure you keep all devices up-to-date

It might seem obvious but it bears repeating — DO NOT skip or delay updates. Old software is targeted by hackers as the vulnerabilities become well-known.

Developers of IoT products regularly update their software and firmware to ensure these vulnerabilities are patched and your household is protected.

#10. Occasionally monitor your network activity

Now and then, you should get an overview of the devices using your WiFi. Gain extra insight into the activity within your network with network monitoring tools. 

These tools allow you instant access to the goings-on of your network and alert you before any possible breaches stemming from IoT devices.

You’ve heard the horror stories of hacked baby monitors and compromised smart speakers. However, a smart home doesn’t have to be an insecure home. Follow the tips listed here to ensure that intruders never find a way inside your IoT devices or your network.

More home advice

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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