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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Ways to protect digital home devices

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Safeguard smart-home technology

Michael Saunders & Company is proud to be one of the few real estate companies considered a Champion of Cybersecurity by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here are tips to safeguard smart-home technology. Thermostats, door locks, and garage door openers are now connected to the Internet. This connection offers the ability to control your devices anytime, anywhere. While providing convenience, these types of technology may also pose security risks.

Tips to protect your digital home

  • Double your login protection. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires a second device to verify your identity at login. Enable this security option by using a mobile device, an authenticator app or a secure token, a small device that can hook onto your key ring.
  • Secure your Wi-Fi network. A wireless router is the primary way cybercriminals access connected devices. Secure your network and digital devices by changing the factory-set default, password and username.
  • If you connect it, protect it. Update your devices with the latest security software, web browser and operating systems. Turn on automatic updates to defend against the latest risks. Make sure you have security software that scans for viruses and other cyberthreats. Also, remember to regularly back up your data.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances, toys and devices are supported by a mobile application. Some apps put your identity and personal information at risk as well as using default permissions you never realized you approved. Beware of suspicious privilege requests and only download apps from trusted sources.

Solutions to safeguard information when buying or selling a home

If you’re a seller… Make sure any devices staying with the home do not contain your personal data. Keeping an inventory list may help give you peace of mind that any items left connected do not contain your personal information.

If you’re a buyer… Ask for a list of connected devices that are transferring with your home purchase. Confirm the former owner no longer has access by checking each device’s settings and account.

Below are additional helpful hints:

  • Reset access and guest codes for gates, doors, and garages.
  • Submit a change of ownership to device manufacturers and service providers.
  • Disable access to previous owner’s devices such as thermostats, smart TVs and lighting.
  • Review the privacy practices of the connected devices.
  • Reset privacy and data sharing settings to reflect your preferences.

 

Click here to access the Smart Home Checklist.

 

 

 

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Ways to protect digital home devices was last modified: October 14th, 2021 by Perla Johnson

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