How to keep your smart home safe
In the modern era, there are many ways to update your home for maximum privacy. One of the best ways to do this is to install smart devices, such as motion cameras, at key entry points around the home. This will alert you to potential intruders and keep them out. Another option is to implement certain digital security measures to prevent hackers from accessing your private information.
Even if you use a secured internet connection, there are still ways for hackers to obtain your private data, including bank account passwords or personal identity information. And there are ways for companies to take and sell your data to potential scammers online.
To prevent this, start by changing the name and password of your network. The password should be 12 characters long with a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. This will keep potential hackers from knowing which router to hack into.
Another way to protect your information is with a virtual private network. This is a service you pay for either monthly or annually to change your IP address to make it seem like you are accessing the internet from somewhere else. These private networks also encrypt your personal information, making it more private and secure.
Finally, maintain good security practices online. This means changing your passwords every couple of months, purchasing your own router, installing antivirus software and keeping your smart home devices updated. It also means avoiding public networks, especially if you’re logging into private accounts, such as your bank account or email.
Smart security systems
Many smart devices can help protect your home, including:
- Security cameras: Smart security cameras can record a specific area and use your internet to send the footage directly to your smartphone, iPhone or tablet. This lets you monitor what’s going on in or around your house at any time. These devices often come with cloud storage, so you can keep a record of what is going on. Some also have motion detection and will activate whenever something crosses their sensors.
- Smart locks: By installing a smart lock on your front and back doors, you can automatically lock or unlock the doors as needed by using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or an app on your phone. These devices can also be programmed to open or lock at specific times to ensure maximum safety.
- Key lock box: A key lock box is a more manual way of keeping the house safe and secure. Depending on the device, you can either open it with a passcode, a physical key or a combination of both. You can store important keys inside the box until you need them.
- Built-in doorbell cameras: Doorbell cameras do several things from recording audio and visuals to letting you communicate with the person outside. Some only record when they detect motion, while others record continuously. These also work by using Wi-Fi.
- Smart sensors: These tiny devices detect when someone opens a window or door and send out a customizable alert to let you know. You can install them at key entry points around the house to ensure nobody who shouldn’t be there gets in without your knowledge.
Other important smart home devices
For additional security, consider getting the following options too:
- Smart lights that are programmable to turn on or off at specific times, detect motion or activate when a nearby smart camera detects movement.
- Voice assistants, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, work through a smart speaker. They can be paired with other smart devices to let you remotely control your entire home using a smartphone.
- A complete alarm kit that includes every device you need to keep your smart home private and secure.
Best smart devices to keep your smart home safe
This smart speaker is built with Alexa and lets you take full control of your smart home. When paired with compatible devices, it can turn on lights and lock doors with your voice. It can also make calls and find information online for you. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
A slightly older model, this Alexa voice assistant is simple to operate and functions well. It can pair with smart devices, turn on lights, record audio and lock doors at your command. You can also use it to set alarms and make phone calls over a secure line. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Available in nickel and bronze colors, this smart doorbell can display video in 1080p HD, so you can see who’s at your door from your personal computer, tablet or smartphone. It has motion detection and works well day or night. It can also record video if you purchase the monthly subscription fee. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Simple and small, this smart device uses contact sensors to monitor doors and windows, and it lets you know when they’re opened. It has customizable alerts and can detect motion from up to 16 feet away. It’s a great option for indoor security, though it does require a subscription. Sold by Amazon
Perfect for smaller homes, this ring alarm set includes a base station, four contact sensors, a motion detector, a keypad and a range extender. There’s also the option to get additional smart devices, such as a Ring alarm, an Echo Dot and an indoor camera. It’s compatible with Alexa and most other voice assistants. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
A comprehensive home security system with optional 24/7 monitoring for extra safety, this kit is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. There are four bundle options to choose from, each with its own features. In its base form, it doesn’t require a contract to use. It can also cover up to 1,000 feet without an extender and has a 24-hour battery life. With a subscription to SimpliSafe, you also get access to other features, such as text and phone alerts. Sold by Amazon
Capable of storing up to five house keys, this device is durable and resistant to wear and tear. It features a resettable combination and is easy to install. It doesn’t connect digitally to smart home devices, but it does help prevent intruders from breaking in. Sold by Amazon
With both a 1080p and 2K display option available, this smart camera has two-way audio built in and can detect motion and send instant notifications to your smart device. It can also pan and tilt to monitor a larger range. At night, it can detect motion up to 30 feet away. It also pairs well with Alexa and Google Assistant. Sold by Amazon
This compact, plug-in camera works great indoors. It comes with two-way audio, is compatible with Alexa and includes three cameras. If you want to record videos for later review, you’ll need a subscription to a Ring Protect Plan. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
If you’re looking for a way to secure your internet, this option is for you. It protects up to five smart home devices at once. It also includes a VPN, cloud backup storage and dark web monitoring. Sold by Amazon
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