How to Protect Your Smart Home Devices From Hackers

Smart home devices have become the new normal in today’s world, given the ease and convenience they bring to your daily routines. However, this advanced connectivity puts you at a greater risk of cyber attacks and intrusion. This happens because smart devices connected to the internet are vulnerable and easy to penetrate by professional hackers. Therefore it is important to protect smart home devices from hackers.

Be it the installed camera, microphone, or security system; these gadgets can be breached and compromise your privacy and safety. However, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid smart homes at all costs, but it highlights the need for taking preventative measures when using these incredibly innovative and convenient smart devices.

You can take various steps to protect your privacy and make it difficult for intruders to hack your smart devices – whether it is through your voice assistant or security cameras.

Ways To Protect Your Smart Home Devices

To protect smart home devices from hackers and other malware, here are a few steps you need to follow:

Consider What You NeedConsider What You Need to Protect Your Smart Home Devices From Hackers

Before ordering a smart device like a smart speaker, video doorbell, or thermostat for your home, make sure that you are well aware and comfortable with the amount of privacy it puts online.

Because while a security camera might improve your house security, it also uploads footage on the internet, which is easily accessible by hackers and spies. Likewise, a voice assistant like Siri or Alexa that is listening and waiting for commands can also be hacked. Therefore, always ask yourself whether your chosen smart device balances out security and convenience before paying its full price.

Choose Your Smart Devices Wisely

Choose Your Smart Devices Wisely to Protect Your Smart Home Devices From HackersSecondly, always consider the equipped security features of a smart home device before installing it inside your home. Although well-known brands often guarantee good security, the same cannot be said about unfamiliar brands, so it is best to check the included safety measures to protect your devices from hackers.

We suggest you choose Power or Ethernet (PoE) devices over wireless ones. Since PoE devices are more secure and reliable, hackers must pass through your network’s firewall to hack your device. Hacking a network’s firewall is much more difficult than hacking a Wi-Fi connection, which makes smart wireless devices rank lowest in terms of security.

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network from hackers

Most store-bought routers have model-specific SSID with default usernames and generic passwords like “admin” or “12345678”, allowing hackers to access your Wi-Fi and thereby hack your Wi-Fi-connected smart home devices.

Hackers look for default usernames, therefore, changing your username is key to taking you off the hacker’s list of easy targets. Hence, to avoid being a victim of this cyber attack, you must customize the username and encrypt your Wi-Fi password.

Even though it is not a common practice, some companies still provide smart home devices with default passwords and usernames. By altering your passwords and usernames, you can ensure you are using the best security protocol.

Manage Your Account Passwords

Manage Your Account Passwords

Following the need to secure Wi-Fi networks, the next step you can take to protect your devices from hackers is to manage its account passwords.

It is advised to set new and strong passwords which are harder to crack and guess. The best way to achieve this is to set up passwords with a password manager. A password manager eliminates the need for you to remember multiple passwords. Another option is to use the “Forgot your password?” option every time you log in.

Password managers generate random codes, which are impossible to crack even by professional hackers. In addition, it also updates you about the date your current password was changed. You can also modify your password several times in case you detect any suspicious activity.

Update Firmware

Update Firmware to Protect Your Smart Home Devices From Hackers

Updated firmware also plays a major role in protecting your smart home from privacy breaches. Firmware is a software of lower level that helps power routers and other IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets. For example, you can configure various settings and change passwords with access to your router’s firmware.

All companies constantly release new features and fix bugs for device’s firmware. To ensure that your smart devices are automatically updated with the latest firmware, register them under their respective manufacturers and provide a stable Wi-Fi connection.

However, many devices still need to be proactively updated. This is done by selecting the Update button to get the newest goodies, features, and security patches. Although most people usually ignore them, we strongly advise you not to follow their lead. This is because using old firmware can increase the system’s vulnerability and make it easier for hackers to break through the unpatched flaws.

You can set a reminder or turn on notifications for checks on updates. In addition, platforms like Google, Amazon, Wyze, Arlo, and Ring have details on checking or updating your firmware.

Replace Outdated Routers

Replace Outdated Routers to Protect Your Smart Home Devices From Hackers

Most people update their phones and laptops with new releases. But what about routers? Have you ever thought about upgrading them? Even if your internet connection works perfectly fine, chances are the security of all connected devices is most definitely compromised or suffering.

Furthermore, an aging router is a sign of worsening security protocols, becoming an easy target for hackers. So, updating your routers is incredibly beneficial if you’ve been using them too long.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Changing usernames and setting unique passwords are two important steps in improving privacy, but enabling the two-factor authentication service further advances the security protocol.

This makes it incredibly difficult for hackers to get into your system, as even if they crack the password, without the six-digit code, they can’t log in to your account. Moreover, it makes it easy to detect intrusion as every time a new IP address tries to log into your account, it will ask them to identify it with a password and six-digit code.

This six-digit code is sent to the user via email or phone number, so even if the hacker has the password, it will be tough for them to acquire this unique OTP. To enable this feature, open the security settings on the app and tap it once to activate the highly safe two-factor authentication mode.

Divide up the Network

Divide up the Network to Protect Your Smart Home Devices From Hackers

It is advised to have your smart devices on different networks; for example, you can keep your laptop and your smart fridge on two separate networks. Smart Fridges are not secure and can easily be accessed by a hacker; once the hacker has access to your fridge, the hacker can also hack your desktop, laptop, and mobile phones.

This is because your smart home appliances and personal devices are connected to the same network. Similarly, hackers can easily gain access if they attempt to hack your laptop via your unprotected smart home device. But if they have a separate network and the device is protected, the hacker will fail as he cannot access the main grid.

You can deny hackers access to your devices via protected smart home gadgets. Use the router’s option to create multiple guest networks and categorize your home devices into secondary and personal devices to the main grid network.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Avoid Public Wi-Fi to Protect Your Smart Home Devices From Hackers

As appealing as the thought of free Wi-Fi sounds, keep in mind that public networks pose a huge risk of data corruption and leakage. In addition, a hacker can easily upload malware and viruses on public networks. Hence, it is preferred to use cellular data instead of a public network for remote commands. For example, turning off the lights, or turning on your security alarms, because they require less data.

Cellular data should work well for comprehensive tasks like live streaming the feed from video doorbells and security cameras. At the same time, people with limited data should go for a secure Wi-Fi network.

However, if you need to use an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, we suggest using a Private Network (VPN). It helps encrypt your data and protect it from free-watching eyes and unwanted viruses.

Monitor Your Network

Monitor Your Network

If you are paranoid about who is using your Wi-Fi connection, monitor it using applications such as Wireless Network Watcher. These programs show you a list of all connected devices with your router. You can cross-check these devices with your own to detect and disconnect unwanted connections.

Additionally, if you want to take your security protocols to the next step and shield against network vulnerabilities, invest in an extensive security suite to protect smart home devices from hackers.

Check and Read App Permissions

Check and Read App Permissions

Smart Home Apps in your mobile phones collect data to help control the connected home gadgets. You can manage these settings per your demands and ensure the app cannot access your live location.

One of the biggest advantages of smart home devices is their ability to communicate with each other, but this can also be a double-edged sword. For example, if you recently switched mobile phones, and your last phone had smart home apps, a hacker can use it as a Trojan horse to barge into your smart home system. Therefore, remember to remove the smart home apps from your old devices or disconnect them from the network before replacing them.


Whether you are a new or regular user of smart home devices, protecting them against hackers is always a great idea. However, it is always advised to take extra measures to protect against invasion of privacy, data hacking, identity theft, and network vulnerabilities. These measures will not only protect your devices from hackers, but will also add fun and confidence to your smart home system.