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What exactly makes a home „smart”?

A „smart home” is nothing more than a house or apartment with devices or appliances that are connected to the Internet. These „smart” devices can be anything – from the lighting system, with which the light in the house can be switched on and off remotely at a certain time, to the intelligent coffee machine that grinds the coffee beans at the set time and begin brewing your morning coffee.

Many of these individual products can be controlled via smartphone app, but most users use a so-called „hub” for their smart home instead. This is a central device that is connected to your Internet router and acts as a „house control center” that communicates with and controls all of your intelligent household devices that are connected to the Internet (and often activated by voice command). In this way, the hub helps automate your connected household.

Comfort and cost savings from smart homes

In view of the fact that intelligent home technology often offers convenient and cost-saving functions, it becomes clear why it should no longer be missing in any household: With a smart lighting system, the days are over when you are desperately looking for a bunch of keys with heavy ones in the dark in the evening Juggling shopping bags. If you have an intelligent thermostat, you no longer have to pay for heating or cooling an empty house. And a smart surveillance system gives you the peace of mind that the front door is securely locked, even if you only think about it after a two-hour drive.

Before smart living, it is important to shop smart

According to the Cyber ​​Security Insights Report , 65 percent of US consumers believe that the manufacture of connected devices is a matter of security. Unfortunately, for many new companies who want to distinguish themselves in the highly competitive young market segment, a quick market launch is what counts. Device security, on the other hand, is often neglected. Unsurprisingly, Symantec found vulnerabilities in more than 50 categories of connected devices.

But the great competitive pressure in this industry also offers consumers a wide range of options for one and the same type of device. So it pays to read the privacy policy and terms of use on the manufacturer’s website to find out what data is collected from you and how this information is protected.

As harmless as these gadgets may seem, don’t forget that what makes them smart is some kind of minicomputer that gathers all kinds of data to improve device functionality. An intelligent thermostat has to record information about the surroundings and uses a motion sensor to find out your habits. When setting up the Smart Home Hub, it records your voice commands and saves them.

None of that is a bad thing when it comes to creating a smart, comfortable living space. However, you should be assured that the device manufacturers are properly securing all of this sensitive data. You should also make sure to update the entire system regularly, as hackers often exploit known security holes to break into your home system.

A secure smart home

As mentioned earlier, all smart devices are connected to the internet. Unfortunately, one of the biggest concerns about smart home technology is its susceptibility to attacks by hackers and other cyber threats. So how can you benefit from these new technologies without sacrificing security? When you realize that your smart home network is only as secure as its weakest link, you will come to the conclusion that protecting each device must be your top priority. That’s how it works:

First station: the „front door” of the home network – the router

Take a look at your home network router. Is it the standard model that you received from your internet or cable provider? If so, then you should do a little research to find out how to effectively hedge it.

  • Check the password: If the factory default password is set this can be a problem as it can be determined by a simple Google search.
  • Use a strong password: it should be easy to remember and difficult to guess at the same time.
  • Use the highest level of encryption available. Ideally, this means WPA2 and AES encryption.

Good news: you don’t necessarily have to use the router your ISP provided you with.

Having your own router can not only help you to improve the general security of your home network, but it also enables you to save money on Internet and cable connections, as many providers charge monthly fees for the router.

Time for a secure router

The best protection measure for your networked devices is to secure the router – the front door of your online home – so that it can protect your network. At Norton, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the threat landscape that has evolved with the expansion of the Internet of Things, and we have discovered that connected devices are now being attacked every two minutes. To help protect today’s connected home, we’d like to introduce you to our brand new Norton Core router.

Norton Core is available for pre-order now and acts as the „digital latch” of your networked home. As the first and only high-performance and secure router with integrated Norton protection, Norton Core was specifically developed to secure intelligent home technology. This router changes everything, becau