Smart devices: Using them safely in your home.

Smart devices are the everyday items that connect to the internet. This can include both ‘hi-tech’ items (think smart speakers, fitness trackers and security cameras), and also standard household items (such as fridges, lightbulbs and doorbells). Unlike conventional household items, you can’t just switch on a smart device and forget it, you’ll need to check a few simple things to protect yourself.

What’s the risk from using smart devices?
Just like a smartphone, laptop or PC, smart devices can be hacked to leave your data and privacy at risk. Very rarely, devices have been controlled by somebody else managing the device, often to frighten the victim.

Some smart devices connect to the internet and can be controlled when you’re away from your home Wi-Fi, by creating an online account linked to your device. If you are accessing your device like this make sure you have changed the default password and enable two-factor authentication if available.

As with computers and smartphone, installing software updates promptly helps keep your devices secure. For each of your smart devices you should:

  • Switch on the option to install automatic updates (if available)
  • Install any manual updates when prompted
  • Make sure your device’s operating system is up to date.

For more information have a look at the National Cyber Security Centres page here.