Are you working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s important to make sure your home is hack-proof.

Scammers use all kinds of ways to hack your home, whether they spy via home security camera, log onto your smart TV, access your computer or smart phone. It can be as simple as buying your information on the black market or just guessing your password. They also can use technology that helps them attack your system.

Homeowners often don’t even know they are victims until there is activity in their bank accounts.

Here are some steps on hack-proofing your home.

Install internet security software. It’s the most effective way to secure your home. Make sure the software stops viruses, had a firewall and software that can prevent intruders to break through. Your software will do its job automatically, but sometimes it is good to run an all-system deep scan triggered manually.

Regularly update internet security. Don’t put it off upgrades.

Use unique passwords. That goes for your PC log-on, your router and anything else that calls for an access code. Never use the defaults that come with devices you buy, especially modems, routers and alarm systems.

Don’t use obvious things for passwords. Things such as kids’ names, pets’ names, birthdays, etc. are too easily guessed. Also, change passwords regularly in case your current ones fall into the wrong hands.

Keep your systems up-to-date. Hardware manufacturers, such as those who make burglar alarms, routers, monitoring cameras and computers, regularly update their firmware and the intelligent chips built into them, but they don’t always tell you. Always check for updates.

Disconnect from the internet. If you have a home network that enables you to switch off internet access, the rest of your network itself – that is, the parts inside your home – can remain active. If you’re not likely to be using the internet for a while and you have this ability, use it. You also can unplug devices not in use.

Be sure to replace outdated equipment. Devices more than five years old might not have adequate built-in security, even if the firmware is updated. This often is true about routers.

It’s hard to hack-proof your home 100 percent, but this is a start. For more tips, go to or call 1-800-388-2222. To report a scam, go to

Reanna Smith-Hamblin is president and CEO of the Better Business chapter serving this region. She can be reached at 502-588-0043 or