Smart tech and data security: what you need to know
At Hive we want everyone to feel confident about using smart products in the home. So we thought it would be helpful to share some of the questions we get asked about smart tech and data privacy.
I’ve heard about smart home hacking, what is it?
This is when someone breaks into an unsecured internet connection, or one with poor security, to gain access to your smart home network. In the worst-case scenario, this means they could retrieve personal information such as passwords, and in some cases even take control of your smart devices.
Is my data secure when I use smart home tech?
Yes - problems with smart tech data security are very rare. Most of the big smart tech companies have spent a lot of time and money making sure their products are security smart to avoid any personal data breach (which is when private data is viewed or copied by an unauthorised individual). So while it’s important to be vigilant about your online security in general, adding smart tech to your home is not going to make you any more vulnerable. And it’s definitely not a reason to avoid smart tech altogether.
What does Hive do to protect its products from a security breach?
At Hive we always check your identity when you call us. Then access to your Hive account is also protected by a password we ask you to create the first time you log in. We also encrypt communication with our website and mobile apps using industry standard SSL encryption. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s designed to keep your internet connection secure and protect any sensitive data that’s being sent between two systems, like your phone and smart thermostat.
Is there anything extra I can do to keep my smart tech safe from data leaks?
There are some really simple things you can do to minimise your chances of falling prey to cyber crime:
Protect your network
Smart tech uses your home’s Wi-Fi network. So it’s really important your internet is secure. As a start, if you’re still using the default password (the one on the side of your router) it’s worth changing it.
Make sure you use different passwords for everything
One password for lots of stuff? We all do it. The problem is, if one device gets hacked it’s easy for someone to access everything, from your bank account to your boiler. So although they’re more difficult to remember, do try to use different passwords for different things (and not just different numbers at the end of the same word). Nowadays most services and accounts are really good at helping you reset your password if you’ve forgotten it.
One of the great things about smart tech is that you can forget about it and it will just get on with doing its job, like warming your home to the perfect temperature. But try not to forget about it all the time. Re-booting your smart home devices and router once a month is a great way of keeping your smart stuff safe.
What should I do if I think some of my smart home products might have been hacked?
If you think some of your smart tech may have been compromised, change your password straight away and make sure anyone else that has access to your account does the same.
If you want more tips on smart security, read our article on the best ways to secure your smart tech. And you can check out Hive’s family of smart products and what they can do for you, over on the main website.