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Hackers Not Welcome Here: Is Your Smart Home Vulnerable to Cyber Invasion?

We used to associate the Internet with computers and mobile phones. Now, with the Internet of Things (IoT) rapidly expanding, more household items are going online. From your refrigerator to your home alarm system, many electronics are joining the internet.

Information technology firm Gartner predicts that 8.4 billion "things" will be used worldwide this year—a 31 percent jump from last year. While the IoT has a lot of potential to modernize and streamline how we live and work, like any technological advance, it’s not without its security risks.

You may be wondering: Is your smart home vulnerable to a cyber hack? How can you protect your privacy and maintain security without giving up the benefits of connectivity? These are great questions; keep reading to learn more about keeping the hackers out of your home.

Meanwhile, it’s a great time to compare home insurance quotes to make sure your abode is protected in the case of physical or virtual disaster. If you’re a business owner who works from home, cyber insurance can prevent one unfortunate data breach from burying your SMB.

Here’s How Hacks Can Occur

There are a few obvious pieces of technology—your Smartphone, TV or any device you use for online shopping—but there are a few more obscure security risks. As CNN outlines in their piece "Your Hackable House," some devices that homeowners wouldn’t think twice about could be vulnerable to outside intrusion. Examples include:

Large-Scale IoT Hacks

Interconnecting devices is generally meant to simplify our lives, but figuring out the security kinks can be quite complicated. For example, one large-scale attack in 2016 that affected popular websites like Netflix, Twitter, Spotify and Amazon came from over 100,000 IoT devices like DVRs, printers and appliances that had been affected with a malware code.

The purpose of the attack was to block traffic, known as a distributed denial of services (DDoS). There was no noticeable long-term damage. But these kinks in web traffic can be used as a diversion to distract from more serious (read: financial) attacks.

Secure Your Smart Home

After reading this, you’re likely wondering how you can better secure your smart home. Don’t panic; racing around and unplugging every electronic device in your home is not the way to go.

Instead, start practicing homegrown cyber security methods.

Set strong passwords on every device and keep up with regular software updates. When you purchase new Internet-enabled products, buy legitimate brands with solid reputations. And set two-factor authentication whenever you have the opportunity!

You wouldn’t go to sleep without locking your door, so don’t slack on cybersecurity in your house! As the IoT becomes more prevalent, we can all contribute to keeping networks as secure as possible and stopping hackers in their tracks.

Don’t forget to protect your house with the right home insurance; compare quotes today with CoverHound!

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