How to Secure and Protect Your Smart Home - The New York Times
Smart-home devices create comfort and convenience through the power of the internet, allowing you to tweak temperatures, view security cameras, flip on lights from across the couch or across the globe, and so much more. That type of connectivity is powerful, but it can also make you easy prey for digital thieves. As Theresa Payton, founder and chief executive of Fortalice Solutions, a cybersecurity consultancy firm, told us, “Every device connected to the internet is a target.”
Because some smart-home devices are specifically designed to monitor us, taking precautions becomes essential.
Directly protect your devices
When possible, use two-factor verification. Most devices in a smart home will offer this feature, so always use it when you can.
Many manufacturers also allow you to opt into automatic hardware and software updates, something experts recommend to ensure the latest fixes get installed to address new security vulnerabilities. Make sure you check the settings section of your devices’ apps and your smartphone’s app marketplace for updates to devices that don’t automatically do this.
Read the fine print
While a popular worry among smart-home users is rightly the threat of hackers, another equally pressing concern is whether to trust the manufacturer itself. Signing into an app shouldn’t give manufacturers the right to secretly access or share your behavior, but it could give them access to a trove of data the device collects — things like email addresses, location information, and recorded audio and video. If you don’t have the time, check out a source like Wirecutter, which considers the (over) reach of privacy policies in its evaluation of various smart-home devices as part of its criteria.