Security

6 Ways to Not Let Your Smart Home Devices Spy on You

Protect yourself from smart 'spying' devices with few quick ways.

You think that you are watching your TV or using smartphones. What if we say your beloved home gadgets are watching you too? What if you have to take steps to stop your smart home devices from spying on you?

Laughing?

Well, that’s not a joke.

Despite the uncountable and irreplaceable benefits of the smart home gadgets, these devices may leak your activities.

stop smart home devices from spying
Each one of your smart gear or gadget might be spying on you, but stopping them from doing so isn’t that hard either. You just need to be proactive and play with the settings of your smart home gadgets well.

Hence, all the facilities that the automatic locks, television, smartphones, and other devices are providing you, are at the expense of your privacy.

Wondering how these gadgets do so?

Well, it happens when any of your devices are connected to the internet. We all are now well aware of the ways by which internet is spying you and increasing the risks of hacking or monitoring. Let’s find out how you can escape the spying of your smart home devices:

Ways to Stop Your Smart Home Devices from Spying

Just like firewall protection, there are various ways by which you can create a shield against your spy-like home gadgets.

For this, you don’t need to install any application or software, but you just need to be careful and attentive.

Let’s have a look at the preventive measures which you can take with no trouble, and thus secure yourself.

1. Turn off Wi-Fi

Some people are habitual of staying online 24 hours a day. Although, it is now necessary to keep yourself connected with your friends, relatives, or professional contacts throughout a day. However, unfortunately, turning your Wi-Fi on for 24/7 is indirectly making you more prone to cyber-attacks. This is because the hackers or spy agents will found easy access to the devices that are connected to the Wi-Fi and thus monitor you.

Therefore, the simplest way to stop your smart home devices from spying is to switch off the Wi-Fi when you are not using the internet. It will not only protect you but will also save your money!

2. Never leave your data on applications

To save time, many Voice Assistant devices, like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, are becoming popular. They serve the users in a number of ways you can ever imagine. These devices actually enhance the Artificial Intelligence of your device, so that it can follow your command. However, they not only listen to you but also record all your voice conversations. Such recordings are a threat, as they can be used against you at any time.

To stop this way of data stealing, make sure to delete all your activities from the applications regularly. You can mute your device as well so that it does not listen to you at all.

3. Disable your microphone and camera

Having a built-in camera and microphone on your laptops is great. These options aid in making a video call on Skype or any such application.

However, they form the most comfortable and common means of spying. You will never pick who is watching you or listening to you even when you are not using the camera or microphone.

Don’t worry. Here comes a swift way to hide yourself. Just deactivate your laptop’s camera and microphone when not in use.

If you don’t want to disable the camera, then just cover it with a dark-colored tape. By doing so, even if any hacker, somehow, manages to install spyware on your device, he/she will not see anything. You can also use anti-spy laptop covers for the camera.

4. Use Firewall Protection

You can protect your computers, laptops, and smartphones in many ways. These devices remain all-time connected to the internet. We all know well that ISPs are the main culprit for data logging. They facilitate hackers and spies too.

Fortunately, several VPN services are available today that are known to protect the user from such cyber activities by encrypting the data. Thus, you can safely use the internet under cover of a VPN such as IPVanish.

However, not every user can afford these expensive services.

Relax!

You will find several free VPNs with limited or unlimited access to various features. Some pro VPNs also free trials, so you can use them as well. TunnelBear and Cyberghost are two useful free VPNs if you want us to recommend any. If you can’t afford a premium VPN like IPVanish and do not like the idea of limited use on free VPNs, free web proxies, which mostly do not have a usage limit imposed, will help to some extent, too.

Alternatively, you can merely use secure Wi-Fi routers. These routers have a built-in firewall layer at the network level. That means any device which is connected to the router will be protected.

5. Your smart TV is also a culprit

Do you know your Smart TV is also spying on you?

Yeah, it is like that!

Recently, Consumer Reports (CR), a non-profit research organization, has unveiled many facts about Smart TVs. These gadgets are capable of listening to your conversations for ads.

Besides, the Smart TVs are literally ‘smart’ in data collection as well. Thus, they also help the hackers directly or indirectly.

The only measure you can take to ensure your protection is to disable the TV’s internet connection. You can use it as an ordinary television instead. Although, it will definitely compromise some of its prime features, however, your privacy and safety should come first.

6. Have updated devices

Evidently, we cannot entirely stop using the smart devices in our homes. We cannot deny the benefits these devices provide to us. To stop your smart home devices from spying, many software offer latest updates that somehow protect you against such malicious attempts.

Mostly, the recent updates are more defensive against the security threats. Just as you update your computers and mobile phone applications, you should upgrade all your smart home gadgets to the recent updates available too.

Conclusion

From the remote-controlled gadgets to the devices operated by our fingertips, all such devices have brought a revolution in the tech world (and our lives, of course). Smart Home devices have made our lives easier than ever before. Hence, 24/7 internet via Wi-Fi, smartphones, and smart TVs are now the prerequisites for a peaceful lifestyle.

However, smart home devices not only help the users but also facilitate the hackers and spies too. These devices provide quick means to spy through their connection with the online world. The hackers, spies, or even the intelligence agencies can easily keep their eyes on all your activities via your laptop camera, smart TV, and mobile phones.

Since prevention is always better, you need to be more cautious to protect your privacy. By following the measures that we have mentioned above, you can quickly stop your smart home devices from spying on you.

Image courtesy of Pixaline via Pixabay

Abeerah Hashim
the authorAbeerah Hashim
Staff Writer
Abeerah is a passionate blogger/web writer for several years with particular interest towards science and technology. She is crazy to know everything about the latest tech developments. Knowing and writing about hacking, spying, and gaming has always enchanted her. When she is not writing, what else can be a better pastime for her than web surfing and staying updated about the tech world!
1 Comment
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