Password Source: iStock.com/designer491

Smart home to become the standard

15. December 2020 Published by Jana Greyling

The experts from TÜV Rheinland expect the smart home to be standard in the future. According to estimates, every private household will be equipped by 2025 with some 500 devices, products, applications and components that are either Internet-enabled or already connected to the Internet. The problem with this, however, is that not all smart solutions in the smart home are state of the art when it comes to data security. That has less to do with the technology used and the devices, and more to do with the carelessness and thoughtlessness of some users.

Only a third of users (34.3 percent), for example, know which devices in the home are connected to the Internet. Only 6.7 percent think they know how they can protect their home network of router and end-user devices against cyber attacks. Every device connected to a router can be an access point for cybercriminals. If they gain access to standard login details, in other words, the user name and password for one of the devices, they can also control the network via this device in order to demand a ransom, for example. Nevertheless, only 14 percent of users change the default password to an individual, secure password. The situation is similar when it comes to the manufacturers’ security updates. Only one in five users (21.5 percent) installs these as soon as they’re available.

Security is a key purchase criterion for users with regard to smart home products, but it already starts with the users themselves. Anyone can ensure that their devices are secure. Let’s start with the password, for example.

Not your standard password

AleiPm4Z+eK! Try and guess what that could be. No idea? Well, it’s a secure password and has something to do with pizza. When it comes to passwords, many of us aren’t particularly imaginative. The date of birth is popular, or the real classic, numerical sequences like 1,2,3,4. But weak or standard passwords are an open invitation to criminals, while secure passwords are an art in itself. An example? AleiPm4Z+eK! In Germany, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) recommends this jumble of letters as a pattern to follow. The mnemonic for that: Am liebsten esse ich Pizza mit vier Zutaten und extra Käse! (My favorite pizza is with four ingredients and extra cheese)


Protecting personal data is very important for almost everyone, but only a few take appropriate security precautions to the same degree, and that starts with the password. Upper and lower case letters, special characters, numbers, no whole words, at least eight characters: The criteria for secure passwords are becoming more complex, but also more secure as a result. That also applies, incidentally, to the various accounts when shopping on the Internet. If you want to play it safe, you should create a separate password for each service and account, and observe all the security factors. And also change the passwords regularly. Our suggestion: Simply go through all your favorite meals, favorite movies, favorite songs to discover whole new combinations. For example, the new password could be MLBsdB+dSHJv1968. That stands for ‘my favorite band is the Beatles and the song Hey Jude from 1968’.

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