Smart devices: using them safely in your home (Central Specialist Crime)

Just like a smartphone, laptop or PC, smart devices can be hacked to leave your data and privacy at risk. Very rarely, devices have been controlled by somebody else managing the device, often to frighten the victim.

Setting up your device

Before you buy, check reviews of the product and the manufacturer. For information about how to set up a specific device, refer to the manufacturer’s documentation. This may be a printed manual or ‘getting started’ guide that came with the device, on the

Check the default settings

Some devices may be insecure when they are first switched on, so you’ll need to take some quick steps to protect yourself.

  • If the device comes with a password that looks easily guessable (for example admin or 00000), change it.

Managing your account

If the device or app offers 2-step verification (2SV), turn it on. 2SV provides a way of ‘double checking’ that you really are the person you are claiming to be, and makes it much harder for criminals to access your online accounts, even if they know your password.

Keeping your device updated

For each of your smart devices, you should:

  • switch on the option to install automatic updates (if available)
  • install any manual updates when prompted
  • make sure your device’s operating system is up to date

If something goes wrong

If you become aware of an incident that’s been reported and you think your device is affected:

  • check the National Cyber Security Centre and the Information Commissioner’s Office for advice
  • if you think someone has malicious control/access of a device in your home, you should perform a factory reset

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address:

Jitu Solanki