Protecting Your Data at Home

October 23, 2018 by Raj Bakhru

Protecting Your Data at Home

Our homes are becoming increasingly connected to the outside world through "smart" devices, which work together over your Wi-Fi network to make your home more comfortable, safe, and convenient. Common smart devices include thermostats, televisions, light bulbs, and surveillance systems.

Smart home infographic

How to Secure Your Smart Devices

With all of this convenience comes a great deal of risk. Internet-connected smart devices can become a target for hackers, so it's important to configure them in a way that doesn't put your home — or your data — at risk.

Tips for securing your smart devices:

  • Secure your wireless network. Use a wireless router with a good security track record, change its default credentials, and use strong Wi-Fi passwords with the highest level of encryption. If you use your internet provider's router, consider changing its default account credentials. See our tips on securing your home Wi-Fi network
     
  • Enable automatic software updates. Log in to the device occasionally to make sure it has the latest firmware.
     
  • Change all default accounts and passwords. Don’t use the same username and password across all of your smart devices; make sure each device has a unique username and password. Use multi-factor authentication where available. See our password strength best practices
     
  • Do not log in to your smart devices from shared public computers (e.g., hotel business centers). This will prevent key logging of your usernames and passwords for those devices.
     
  • Prevent unwanted physical access to your smart devices. Make sure people you don't know or trust can't tamper with your devices.
     
  • Consider creating a separate Wi-Fi network for your smart devices. Attackers may breach a smart device as a way to attack the rest of your home network, including your computers and mobile devices.

For More Information

For more cyber safety tips and resources you can apply at work and at home, see our Cyber Awareness Resources page. If you have any questions, please contact your regular ACA Aponix consultant or email us at info@acaaponix.com.

About the Author

Raj Bakhru, CISSP, is a Partner at ACA Aponix, the cybersecurity and IT risk division of ACA Compliance Group. ACA Aponix focuses on independent, holistic technology risk assessments and advisory services for financial firms. It also performs vendor due diligence, penetration testing, phishing testing, staff training, and information security policy build-outs. Prior to ACA’s acquisition of the firm, Raj was Chief Executive Officer of Aponix Financial Technologists, which he co-founded. Before that, he led firm-wide software development and was part of the founding team at Kepos Capital, now a $2 billion global macro quantitative asset manager. Prior to Kepos, Raj served as a Vice President at Highbridge Capital, where he led the team building the firm’s proprietary order and execution management system. In addition, he previously worked on research and cross-asset-class algorithmic trading algorithms and software systems at Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s quantitative hedge funds.

Raj earned his BS from Columbia University in Computer Engineering and has received his CFA charter and his CISSP designation. In the course of his career, he has been frequently quoted in Ignites, HFMWeek, MarketWatch, The Cybersecurity Law Report, and other industry-leading publications on information security in financial services.

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