General Smart Home Security Tips 1 Most smart home devices will require you to connect the device to an app via Wi-Fi. Ensure that your Wi-Fi network is secured by creating a strong password that has been changed from the default. 2 If your smart home device requires you to set up an account to connect via the app, ensure that you use a secure and unique password. Creating the same password is convenient, but it’s not secure. 3 Does your service support two-factor authentication (2FA)? If so, use it! This is a great way of protecting your account and devices with an extra step against hackers. 4 Firmware is software that powers your router and IoT devices. Ensure this is always updated so that you have the latest security updates installed. 5 If your router doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi standard, you should consider upgrading it to make the most out of your internet speed and security. Home Security Devices 6 Smart cameras can be used indoors and outdoors (depending on the type you get). These devices can monitor your home and alert you via your smartphone, or a connected device with support from Google Assistant or Alexa. Many smart cameras can notify you when motion is detected, store previous video recordings, and allow you to use two-way talk through the camera’s built-in microphone. 7 To further protect your home, you can install smart floodlights. These sometimes come in a set with smart security cameras, and can ward off potential trespassers since when motion is detected, the floodlights will activate. Using a connected app, you can control the area of detection, automate your floodlights to come on/off at certain times, and be alerted when they are triggered. 8 While they are designed more for convenience than security, smart video doorbells can be a great way to secure your home too. Video doorbells allow you to hear and speak via the device, connected to an app. If the doorbell is pressed, you’ll get a visual of who is at your door; perfect if you’re not at home but need to accept a delivery. 9 Although you might not think your garage door is a security risk, it can be if you forget to lock it. With a smart garage door, it automatically locks if it’s not in use, and you can control and manage users through the app, depending on the device. Smart Lighting 10 There’s a whole host of smart lighting solutions you can get for your home. Many of these will connect with other smart home devices or controllers, allowing you to control the lights in many ways. For example, if Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled, you can use your voice assistant to turn on/off the lights. 11 Smart light bulbs come in all shapes and sizes to fit your home. They also come in different colors, from bright white to warm white, or colored bulbs that have millions of different colors to choose from; these can be adjusted via the device’s companion app. 12 Smart light strips are ideal for placing around your home and can be placed indoors or outdoors, depending on the type you buy. Light strips can, too, be adjusted to change color, and make a great addition to window frames or outdoors during the holidays. 13 If you want to further your immersive smart lighting experience, gaming lights are a great way to add some color to your setup. These can often be applied around your desk, behind your monitor, or in the form of light bars. Smart lighting can be set to sync with the sounds from your computer, changing color when you speak, when music is played, or when the action kicks in during your favorite video game. 14 To automate your smart home, you can connect your smart lights to compatible smart sensors and controllers. These allow you to set automations and schedules that respond when motion is detected, or when the sun rises or sets, for example. It’s a great way to save energy since your smart lighting will only come on, and turn off, when you set it to, or when someone is in the room. Energy-Saving 15 Whether you’re trying to figure out the best times for your heating to come on during the winter, or for your AC to kick in throughout the warmer months, a smart thermostat can help. Smart thermostats connect to your home’s heating or cooling system and can be controlled via an app. From the app, you can turn on/off your heating, set it to come on just at certain times, or even schedule it to kick in when you’re home from work. Some smart thermostats can also learn from your habits and program a schedule to save on your energy bills. 16 Aside from directly controlling the temperature in your home, you can also use other smart devices to make your home more energy-efficient. Smart curtain drivers are a great way to keep the heat in during the winter, or keep your home cooler during the summer months. Curtain drivers can connect to an app where you can schedule your curtains to open/close when the sun rises, or sets, when someone is in the room, or by sensing motion if paired with a sensor. 17 Tired of turning off all your plugs before going to bed to save money? Smart plugs are a fantastic way to control what electronic devices are on or off in your home. Simply plug your device into a smart plug, which then plugs into the wall socket, and you can turn your device off from anywhere, even if you’re on holiday. Smart Appliances 18 No matter if you’re a budding chef or not, a smart oven can help you achieve the right cook, even if you’re not standing by the oven. Smart ovens connect to an app like other smart devices and can allow you to choose the correct settings for the food you’re cooking. It also allows you to manage when the oven is on or off. 19 If you want your coffee to be ready when you wake up, or you’re running late for work and don’t have time to make one, a smart coffee machine could be the gadget you need. Smart coffee machines can be scheduled through an app, serving you a fresh brew when you need it. 20 If you don’t need a dedicated appliance for your smart home, there are also a lot of smart home accessories that work well in the kitchen. From smart thermometers to check the temperature of your meat, to smart scales that weigh your food more precisely than ever before. Smart Garden Gadgets 21 Smart devices don’t stop inside your home, they also have a place outdoors, meaning you can automate your garden too. Smart solar lighting is one of the ways you can achieve this. Similar to smart lighting, your solar lights can store solar power, then be controlled via an app to turn on/off when you want them to. Great for parties and outdoor barbecues. 22 To keep your lawn looking fresh without the hard work, you can invest in a robot lawnmower. These robots analyze your lawn and will map out an area to mow, which can be managed via the device’s app. Here you can schedule when the robot mows your lawn, designated areas to avoid, and much more. 23 If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool at home, you may find that cleaning it puts you off using it. A smart pool cleaner may sound like a fad, but it’s a really useful gadget. Not only can it apply the right chemicals to keep your pool clean at all times, but it can also clean the pool when you tell it too, ensuring it’s fresh and ready for you every swim. 24 To save money on your water bill, and to ensure your garden and plants only receive the watering they need, a smart sprinkler is a great investment. These gadgets can be accessed via your smartphone, allowing you to program schedules so your plants get watered on time. Some of these devices even assess your garden, including the types of plants, and will water them just when they need it. Health and Hygiene 25 Brushing your teeth is a mundane chore, but it’s got to be done to keep on top of your oral hygiene. With a smart toothbrush, you can learn a lot about your teeth and how you brush. You can manage each brush via the app and get a history of how you brush, and where you need to improve. 26 While it’s an expensive investment, there are smart toilets and smart toilet seats you can purchase. With the use of a connected remote control, smart toilets can do anything from flush, clean, or even heat your toilet so that it’s fresh, ready, and comfortable for you to use. 27 Managing your health can be tough, but getting an idea of where you’re at and what you want to achieve can be motivational. Thankfully there is plenty of smart gym equipment from boxing gloves to skipping ropes, rowing machines to all-in-one gyms, and they all have their own individual apps.
Read the full article here