Protecting Your Kids in Your Smart Home.
Kids today have more access to technology that most of us did in our entire youth. With cell phones, tablets, laptops, games systems and smart home tech, kids have the world at their fingertips, but they also have vulnerability to cyber-attacks, identity theft and more.
The importance of secure internet routers in your home.
Did you know that your internet routers are the most vulnerable point in your home? Most smart technology connects directly to the internet through your router. The smarter our homes become the more opportunities for thieves to find ways into our kids lives.
With smart home products on the market booming, it is no wonder that thieves are taking this opportunity to access our information at our homes. Cyber-attacks at home are increasing. The company Avast 2019 Smart Home Security reported that that 40.8% of smart homes have at least one device vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Vulnerable smart tech not only leaves a door open to cyber intruders, but it can make your home more accessible to thieves right outside your door.
Do not leave your kids identities accessible to thieves:
You have heard of baby monitors getting hacked, and now increasingly smart tech in your home is leaving the door open. We have said it before, and we will say it again, the smart tech in your home is only as smart as you are. If you are not protecting your family from hackers, you might as well leave the front door open.
Every time you get a new device you have to makes sure that you have completely deleted all personal information from your old one. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission suggests that you actually check to see if your child has an active credit report here.
“Generally, a child under 18 won’t have a credit report unless someone is using his or her information for fraud. A good way to find out if someone is using your child’s information to commit fraud is to check if your child has a credit report.”https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
It is always important to make sure that if you get a new phone or tablet for you kids, that you delete everything from your old device before you trade it in or throw it way. Kids devices like their phone s and tablets can contain personal information about your child. Saved passwords, access to your smart home through apps and more, make recycling old tech a big no-no unless you wipe them first.
Smart tech isn’t always so “Smart”
Technology like smart locks and cameras sounds like a great idea, but many homeowners leave these devices running on open networks that can be accesses by hackers. Some of the more common smart devices are doorbell cameras and smart locks. While devices like these make your home more accessible for you, if they are not on a secured router, they are also making your home more vulnerable to attacks.
Here are a few things to consider when using “smart devices” in your home.
– Smart locks: these devices can help increase house security and can make it more convenient to unlock doors or grant access to potential visitors. However, these smart locks are connected through your home internet router and accessed either through blue tooth on your cell phone or a specified app for your phone.
If the lock is Bluetooth enabled, the user must be in range (40 feet or less) to communicate with your smart lock. With built-in Wi-Fi circuitry or a Wi-Fi bridge can be controlled from almost anywhere if they are connected to your home router.
The key to your smart lock is your home internet router and the devices on their own do not actually have security as a standalone unit, smart locks rely on secure Wi-Fi signals to operate. If your internet router is down, or hacked, you may lose control of your smart lock.
– Smart security cameras can be accessed and controlled from anywhere in the world. Like smart locks they are controlled through your home router. They are also dependent on that router being on a secure network as they do not have the tech to protect themselves from hackers. While smart home security cameras are great to monitor your homes, they are only helpful to law enforcement if they have not been tampered with by the thief or cyber attacker.
Making your home safer through smart tech is a priority for helping to keep your kids safe too.
At Little Mind Books we want to encourage kids to explore the vast world around them, but it is so important to be able to monitor that experience and keep them as safe as possible while doing so. A few years ago, we actually got a Gryphon Connect system for our home for this exact reason. Anxiety hit when we knew that iPad had internet access. We wanted a way to keep the kids safe, as well as the other smart devices in our home. We still used security cameras to monitor the kids when they slept at this point and the idea of someone hacking one of those was terrifying.
We would not suggest something that we did not use ourselves. Disclaimer we did not get paid to endorse this product, but we have used it for three years and love it.
We did the research and chose to go with the Gryphon Mesh WiFi Security Router
In non-tech terms it is a point of access to the internet that monitors everything coming in and going out of your router. It is a second level of security that your router does not have for all your smart devices. You can even set up guest networks so that your kid’s friends are not on the same channel as the rest of your home’s devices. This patrician gives another level of security to your smart home cameras and lights, thermostats and other smart switches that do not innately have built in security.
Mesh routers like the Gryphon also a parental control system which allows parents to set up profiles for each child and their devices, limit internet access, access to different apps and games, and allows you to completely block the things you don’t want them on. It also prevents them from getting viruses on their technology. With cyber-attacks on the rise this will make the internet a safer, and more monitored experience for your kids.
Our sister company did and entire article on making your smart home smarter. You can read it here.