Tips for securing smart home devices

With your super-fast BendBroadband internet, you can connect all kinds of smart devices to your home network. From doorbells, lights, and thermostats, to refrigerators, stoves, and garage door openers, having internet-connected devices can offer loads of convenience—but they can also pose real security risks.

Often the software that comes with these gadgets isn’t up to the task of keeping out intruders, which makes them the weakest link in your home network security. And once a single device is hacked, it puts the rest of your network at risk. In good news, there are things you can do—even before you buy—to help keep your home network safe.

Here are seven tips from experts across the internet:

  1. Don’t cheap out at the store. Big name companies that usually have the most-expensive tech have a reputation to uphold and want their devices to be secure. The same may not be true of smaller brands with cheaper products where the goal is simply to sell, regardless of any bad press.
  2. Look for devices that don’t connect to the internet. You can buy smart lights, for example, that connect to your home network via a plug-in, rather than using the internet. While you won’t be able to use them when you’re outside of the house, maybe that’s not a feature you actually need.
  3. Change the default passwords. The dark web is filled with default passwords, which make them an easy way for hackers to get in. Make sure your devices AND your Wi-Fi network have strong passwords that are long and complex. And please, don’t name your network something super obvious—your address, your name, or a combination thereof—it puts a target on your house.
  4. Check the default settings, too. Some smart device settings may benefit the manufacturer more than you. Make sure you’re sharing only what you want, not what they want.
  5. Update any software or firmware. Just because your device is secure out of the box doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. If you have TDS fiber internet, you have no excuse not to run any and all updates so your tech stays up to date on the latest security patches and fixes.
  6. Make Bluetooth connections nondiscoverable. Lots of devices leverage Bluetooth, which has known security gaps. By making the device non-discoverable after it’s connected, you’ll help keep hackers out.
  7. Disable what you don’t need. If you’re not using some features of your smart gadgets, turn them off—better to close those unused doors than leave them available.

One more thing: If your internet is struggling to keep up with all of your devices, it may be time for an internet upgrade. If you want the fastest, most reliable, and best online experience whether you’re at work or home, look for your local fiber internet provider: BendBroadband. Visit bendbroadband.com to learn more and get the speed you need.

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