The connected home is fast becoming commonplace. Smart appliances like light bulbs, smart assistant speakers, thermostats, cameras and door locks arguably make life more convenient. That futuristic Jetson-like vibe they bring is certainly cool but are they compromising our homes' cybersecurity?
With the recent surges of attacks against Internet of Things and smart appliances, making them witless minions of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) botnets, could there be simpler ways to protect our living spaces without a complete overhaul and rethinking of our home networks?
Well, if you have connected smart appliances in your home right now and you're enjoying the conveniences they bring, there's one simple router tweak you can do to make your home network safer.
Turning on the guest network
One simple way to protect your more critical personal devices, like your personal computers, smartphones, and tablets, is to put them on a separate network that's different from your main one.
You can do this by setting up a completely different Wi-Fi router or by simply enabling your router's "Guest Network" option, a popular feature for most routers.
Guest networks are meant for visitors to your home who might need a Wi-Fi internet connection but you don't want them gaining access to the shared files and devices within your network. This segregation will also work for your smart appliances and it can shield your main devices from specific Internet-Of-Things attacks.