Cujo launches security system claimed to keep smart homes safeWhich? advice on how to make your smart home safer

22 October 2016

smart home security

The low level of security on some smart home products makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks

Cujo claims that its new security system offers protection from hackers attempting to access personal information through connected ‘smart’ devices in your home. But how worried should you be about security when it comes to the smart home?

Concerns about the potential vulnerability of smart home devices to cyber-attacks have grown steadily. Cujo is one of an increasing number of companies offering an additional security system designed to protect all the smart products in your home.  

Cujo’s hub works by connecting to your home’s wi-fi router or modem, and analysing all the data being transferred to and from your home’s smart gadgets. The system is designed to identify threats or suspicious activities, block them and let you know via an app on your phone or tablet.

Much like anti-virus software, most smart home security products are sold on a subscription basis. Priced at around £90, Cujo offers the first six months as part of the initial purchase, with customers then required to pay £7 a month to stay protected. 

To get a clearer picture of what a smart home is and how it works, our guide to smart home gadgets takes you through the wide range of devices available, from smart appliances to security.

Smart homes and security

The idea of having your connected kettle hacked doesn’t seem particularly frightening - who’s going to care what time you boil the kettle? But it could lead to very real threats. 

There is potential for hackers to exploit the low security levels on some smart home products and use them as an entry point to stealing more precious data from other sources, say from your laptop.

In a recent investigation, we also found instances of baby monitors being hacked, enabling strangers to project their voice through the monitor and post images, taken by the camera, of the children online.

Read our full investigation into the security surrounding smart baby monitors and find out which models are the most secure.

How to keep your smart home safe

Manufacturers should be taking responsibility for making smart home products safe from cyber-attack, but there are some easy ways you can make sure you are well protected: 

Set a strong password on new gadgets, and make sure you don't leave the manufacturer's default password in place. This could be on multiple devices, making them more vulnerable.

Ensure that software is always up-to-date, as new versions often include better security features. Many will update automatically, but check whether you will need to do it manually.

Don't neglect the other devices in your home either - it’s vital to ensure that those storing precious information are protected sufficiently. Using top-rated antivirus software is a good way to do this.

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