Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Security

4 Home Tech Innovations You Should Consider Getting Now

Your home is your castle, and naturally, you want your castle to be as convenient as possible. There are plenty of modern home tech innovations for your home that can turn your castle into an advanced fortress of security and convenience. Here are a few modern tech innovations you should consider for your own home.

Top 4 Home Tech Innovations For Your Home

4 Home Tech Innovations You Should Consider Getting Now

Heated Floors

Nobody likes getting up in the morning and walking onto the cold bathroom floor with bare feet—especially in the winter. With radiant heating installed on your floor, you’ll be able to step into the bathroom and be greeted with warm floors whenever you wake up or step out of the shower. Sure, they cost a bit more than standard flooring, but the benefits are extremely convenient, plus they will raise your home’s property value in the process.

Also, similar technology can also be used on your driveway to quickly and effortlessly melt any snow or ice away during the winter. This can come in handy if you don’t want to be burdened with the task of clearing the driveway or can’t due to age, a disability, or have recently been out of commission because of an injury or surgery, like the kind offered at Northwest Surgery Center.

Smart Doorbell Camera

Smart doorbell technology is definitely worth the cost. With the ability to know exactly who is at your door or who has been at your door, you’ll be able to stay safe and ensure that any packages you order are secure and accounted for. They’ve become much easier to install over the years, and if you live in the city or a spot where package theft is a problem, you definitely need to install a doorbell camera.

Smart Thermostat

If you’re tired of needing to adjust the thermostat during those in-between months where you’re not quite sure if you’re hot or cold or are just tired of wasting AC and heat, getting a smart thermostat might be a good option for you. These thermostats adjust to your specific needs depending on the time of day based on when parts of the house are actually occupied. This reduces the cost of using heating and cooling throughout the year and cuts your bill tremendously.

Home Security System

Want your home to be as safe as possible? Installing a home security system is the best defense against home invasions, robberies, and other unwanted intrusions. These systems can be controlled and monitored via your smartphone, and once they’ve been triggered you will get notified. If it triggers when you’re home, an alarm will immediately go off and hopefully scare away the intruder. This also sends out an automatic signal to the authorities if not deactivated within approximately thirty seconds to a minute. It’s the quickest way to ensure that you, your family, and your home are protected from break-ins.

The Best of Modern Homes

These innovative home technologies are each convenient in their own ways, whether it’s something as trivial as having warm floors for your bathroom or as vital as protecting your home from intruders. Interested? Consider getting these handy features for your home!

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5 Steps to Keep Home Network Safe for Remote Working

The current social distancing rules have forced many companies to make the switch to remote work whether they were ready or not. This unveiled just how unprepared and unsafe home networks are when it comes to standing up to a determined attacker. As such, we offer five tips to help regular people set up a more secure work environment from a distance.

How to Keep Your Home Network Safe for Work

The current world situation is difficult, to say the least. The healthcare and economic systems of almost every country on the globe are negatively impacted by the social distancing rules, and we don’t know yet when the situation will return to normal (if ever).

However, there are companies that managed to adapt to the situation by setting up their workers to work from home. Luckily, this is not a new situation as many people already work remotely in many parts of the world. Even more, this is an upwards trend that’s expected to take over most industries by 2028.

Still, remote workers can be a risk for the safety of the company if it’s not done correctly. When working from home, employees don’t follow the same rules imposed by the company when it comes to file sharing, IT security, or software used. Many home computers don’t use an up to date operating system and rely on free software tools that are easier to hack.

When we combine the idea of low-security remote workers with the recent surge in cyberattacks, the result is a bit chilling.

As such, a safe work environment (albeit a remote one) is a responsibility that both employers and employees share. Since we know cybersecurity and new technologies are not everyone’s cup of tea, we put together a few guidelines to help remote workers up the security of their home network.

So, make sure to read everything carefully, and apply the measures that fit your situation in keeping home network safe during and after the social distancing rules.

Keep Home Network Safe – 5 Tips to Stay Safe While Working from Home

How to Keep Your Home Network Safe for Remote Working
To work with peace of mind while maintaining the social distancing rules for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, here are steps to keep your home network safe. Make sure you follow these guidelines for staying safe while working from home.

#1: Update the Security of your WiFi

Home WiFi networks are rarely well-protected and many homeowners don’t even bother to change the default security settings on their routers. This makes the work of anyone who is trying to break your network so much easier!

So, to avoid getting a data breach via your WiFi, follow these basic steps:

  • Change the SSID (service set identifier or the name of the network). If you keep the default one (usually provided by the router or the company that offers the service), you tell an external actor that the password is also the default one or something extremely generic.
  • Change the Password of the router – If you don’t know how to go about this, you can ask your service provider. Also, make sure it is strong (at least 20 characters long with numbers, letters, and various symbols) and avoid using personal information (pets’ names, children’s names, dates of birth, and so on).
  • Enable network encryption – Most modern routers offer encryption possibilities, but they are turned off by default. Make sure to check the router’s settings and turn on encryption (the most effective is WPA2).

#2: Update your Software

If you’re that person who checks “Remind me later” when it comes to software updates, it’s time to stop!

Software updates are not there just to annoy you. This is a form of support provided by the producer to keep your device safe from various vulnerabilities and flaws that could become gateways for hackers.

As such, make sure that every software item you use (including the operating system and router firmware) has the latest updates installed and running.

#3: Use a Solid Security Solution

Stay away from public networks for as much as possible. And, if you do have to use them, take all the necessary precautions. This is the first rule of online safety!

The second rule is about using a reliable antivirus solution. Many people think that just because they have a free antivirus on their systems they are safe. This is completely false and this way of thinking can lure people into a false sense of security.

For an extra layer of protection, you can use a VPN solution. It may slow down your connection a bit, but it’s a price worth paying.

Lastly, you should consider taking an online course on cybersecurity. These courses are affordable, easy to understand, and flexible, but most importantly, they offer valuable information on IT security and protection against the most common threats.

#4: Separate Work from Personal

Working from home can get a bit messy if you don’t establish clear boundaries with the family, the clients and colleagues, and even yourself.

For instance, if possible, try to use a different computer for work and another device for personal activities. If not, make sure you have separate profiles for work and fun and that both profiles are users without administrative rights. Also, if more people use the same computer, make a separate profile for guests (again, no administrative rights).

#5: Change Passwords Frequently

Let’s be honest – the standard username/password system is flawed and, with that many data breaches, it’s no longer effective. Add to this the fact that many people don’t understand the purpose of a strong and unique password and you have the perfect recipe for hacking.

Right now, the most convenient way around this system is two-factor authentication, but it can be difficult to implement and not exactly cheap.

As such, to make sure your professional accounts remain safe, you should change the passwords every two or three months. Also, stay up to date with the latest data breaches, and if any of the platforms you’re currently using was attacked, change the password immediately.

Wrap Up

Yes, it can be a bit daunting to make sure your online presence is safe from prying eyes, but the alternative is much worse!

These measures should be applied by anyone who uses the Intenet to keep their home network safe, but if you work remotely, they are mandatory. Also, we strongly recommend doing more research on the topic of cybersecurity to find new ways of keeping your business safe while beyond the social distancing rules set by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus.


The Ultimate Smart Home: How To Prevent It From Being Hacked

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll probably have heard all the commotion about smart homes nowadays.

In short, they are the big thing on the block right now. Whether it’s controlling entry to your house, speaking to any intruders that have made their way in, or even turning on the smart home heating system before you arrive back – smart homes have it all.

There’s one small problem with them though; there have been some worrying stories about hackers gaining control of them. Considering some of the areas of your home that the systems control, this could obviously have serious repercussions.

Fortunately, all is not lost. Through today’s post, we will now take a look at some of the ways you can safeguard your smart home and ultimately, slash the chances of it getting into the wrong hands.

How to Setup Smart Home Security to Prevent Break-In; Expert’s Guide 

Smart Home Security - How to prevent hacking in your smart home
Of recent, hackers have up the score against smart homeowners by smartly penetrating through the loophole in the home security systems. However, we have identified some of the ways to protect and prevent hacking attempts on your smart home systems.

Make sure it’s installed correctly

It sounds ridiculous, but one of the main reasons why smart homes are hacked so often is because of incorrect installation. Naturally, this is more common in some devices than others. For example, in something as sophisticated as an in-home security system, it’s much easier to make mistakes with this form of installation as opposed to something like a light bulb. It’s for this reason that you would need to turn to a professional security installer to reduce the risks.

Always install the security updates

It doesn’t matter who you are, this is something that most people happen to be guilty of. A popup appears on your phone or computer, asking you to install some form of an update, and most of us don’t bat an eyelid.

Well, this is an invitation to hackers. Quite often, these updates surround potential security breaches, so it is crucial that you install them to close such loopholes. Make sure you open up every app corresponding to your smart home devices and check if any updates are available.

The risks of malware

Malware is something that has been around for years, and again opens doors for those who want to wreak havoc with your smart home devices. It’s also worth mentioning that contrary to popular belief, Macs can be hacked in this way nowadays as well. In essence, it involves dangerous software being installed on your device and suffices to say, it’s not unheard of for this software to influence your smart home devices.

Public wi-fi: almost the roof of all evil

Public Wi-Fi is something that we have all become used to over recent years, but it’s not without its problems. In short, it’s something that can again allow hackers to unscrupulously access your phone and quite possibly later down the line, your home. In short, shared connections can spell bad news, so try and use your own 4G connection or at least private Wi-Fi. The other alternative is to tap into a reputable VPN, which can mitigate the risks of public Wi-Fi somewhat.

Recently, hackers have upped their game against smart homeowners using different techniques to smartly penetrate through the backdoor in some of these home security systems. It is your duty as a smart homeowner to always stay atop of the trend in security so as not to fall prey.

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Do Home Security Systems Really Work? Expert’s Opinion

The short answer is yes.

Home security systems do work. They make your properties less likely to be targeted by thieves and intruders. They can stop an actual burglary from happening and they can even protect your neighbors.

But, how exactly can they protect your home?

In a study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, around 90% of the 30 burglars involved in the study admitted that they wouldn’t choose to attack a home that’s clearly protected by a home security camera. Instead, they’ll look for other more vulnerable targets.

In a separate study by the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, it was found out that security systems can also provide protection to nearby homes. In essence, this means that if there are enough homes in a community with functioning security systems, they can be enough to protect the entire area.

Home security systems work by deterring burglars. Since these people prefer to attack houses that are easy to break into without being detected or seen, the presence of a security system will likely discourage them.

Smarter home with smart devices to take charge of your world effortlessly.

The Limitations of Home Security Systems

Home security systems are effective but it doesn’t mean that they can work all the time. There are still a handful of factors you need to consider to make sure your system works as it should.

One good example is the placement of your devices. You need to be strategic in where you set up your motion sensors and cameras. You need to place them in the weaker areas of your home, such as your back door. As much as possible, keep some of these sensors and cameras visible to other people. Burglars are less likely to attack if they sense that your home is monitored.

Being consistent in using your system counts, too. Make it a habit to arm your system whenever you’re going out. It doesn’t really matter if it’ll just be a short trip to the grocery store or a quick run around your neighborhood. Burglars attack when you least expect them to.

Choosing The Right Type of System

There are different types of home security systems. Each of these systems caters to different needs and provide different levels of protection.

In choosing the right one for you, it’s a good idea to assess what your home needs and what type of protection you’ll likely benefit from. If you are the type who doesn’t like assembling and setting up things, you’ll be better off with a system that’s professionally installed. In case you’re not always at home or you simply want someone to keep an eye on your property all the time, then your best bets are systems that are professionally monitored.

Take note, however, that choosing a system with more advanced features can mean paying for a higher price. So, before you actually sign up for anything, make sure that you only get features you’ll need.

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The Extras

For a home security system to be able to give you comprehensive protection, you need to have more than just the basic devices. Take, for example, your sensors.

Motion sensors are a great help in alerting you of any suspicious and unexpected activity at home. However, for you to actually determine if it’s indeed a burglar and not just your dog, you’ll need to be able to see what triggered the alarm. If you work miles away from home or you’re traveling halfway around the world, this can be difficult.

This is where investing in a security camera becomes important. It will allow you to check on your home even without being physically there. It can also help your monitoring station verify the alarm for you.

In addition to cameras, you should also consider getting smoke sensors and carbon monoxide detectors. Since gases aren’t visible to the naked eye, you can get exposed to them without you noticing. And the longer you get exposed, the more risky it becomes for your health.

In Summary

Home security systems are effective in protecting homes and valuables. Just their presence can be enough to deter burglars and intruders.

Unfortunately, they have limitations and these are the exact things that weaken them. If you want to eliminate or reduce these weaknesses, you have to pay close attention to the system you are getting.

Make sure that it has all the features your home needs to stay protected. Place your security devices in the areas of your home that need them the most. You can also boost your home’s security by expanding your system and getting additional devices.

Of course, for your home security system to actually work, you need to use them. Arm your system whenever you leave your house. You should also make it a habit to check your security devices routinely to make sure that all of them are working and that they have enough battery life in them.