4 Ways To Prevent Weak Spots In Your Wireless Home Security System
You may be in the market for a new home security system with wireless features, or currently have one installed. There are important factors beyond basic use of your system that you need to know to prevent vulnerabilities.
Use Basic Security Measures
The features of your wireless security system that make your life easier can create an entry point for hackers and conventional thieves. Setting a strong password is a fundamental step in preventing unauthorized access to your system. Many homeowners simply use the stock password that comes with the system. Use the same password selection techniques that are suggested for online accounts, such as incorporation of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Changing your password periodically can also help. If you use a strong password, changing your password yearly should be sufficient.
Be Careful How You Access Your System
Never access your home security system through unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Your local coffee shop is a prime location for hackers to manipulate the system and gather information about users. If you routinely need to access your security system from an unsecured location, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). Your VPN will offer another layer of security if you are on an unsecured network, and can keep hackers from discovering personal information as you access your home network.
Since the main benefit of accessing your security system remotely is being able to use mobile devices to monitor your home, you must consider the security of your mobile devices. Make sure your mobile device is difficult to unlock if lost or stolen, and take advantage of features available from your wireless carrier to freeze your device quickly. This can prevent access to sensitive information and the ability to disarm your security system.
Prevent Infinite Password Attempts
Ask the manufacturer of your home security system if there is a lockout feature for your security system and how to enable this feature. If you have infinite opportunities to enter the right username and/or password, so do hackers. Anyone who enters information incorrectly more than a few times should be automatically locked out, and their IP address should be disabled. This can seem like an inconvenience if you frequently forget your login information, but a single hacker can make thousands of attempts to access your network within minutes. It is just a matter of time before they find the right login information if they have unlimited attempts.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication Methods
Two-factor authentication requires a two-step method before accessing your network. The right login information is typically the first step in accessing your network, but the second step may require entering a personal identification number (PIN), answering a security question, or entering a code sent to you via email or a mobile device. Not all security systems may offer these added features. If not, utilize other methods to make entry into your security system more difficult.
Creating a complex username can create a barrier for anyone trying to access your security system. Similar to the way you choose a password, never use the default username that is associated with your security system. When you choose a username, avoid using anything that is associated with your identity, such as your name or email address. This information is easy to figure out, and anyone that knows you well enough can figure out the first step in accessing your system. If available, consider limiting access to your system to registered devices.
If you are in the market for a new home security system, knowing if there are extra security features available to protect wireless access can help you make a choice. For currently installed home security systems, ask the manufacturer of your system if there are other security features available, and how to effectively use each feature.