Keeping Your Devices - and Yourself - Secure

All devices that connect to the internet hold inherent security risk.

It’s up to manufacturers like us to ensure that we are doing everything we reasonably can to protect you. With that in mind, here is an update of what we are doing to protect our devices, and what you can do, to protect yourself from a possible hack.

Securing your connected home - the basics

A network is only as secure as its weakest link. Don’t let your home’s network, or you, be that link. There are two things to think about here: i) your network and ii) your words!

Network Technology

Secure the wireless network

The old Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol is still widely used, but is not secure. For a more secure network, use the WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) protocol and a strong, complex password.

Don’t give away your password lightly

Be strict about who — or what — can get on the network. Don’t be handing out your credentials to the next door neighbour’s daughter’s best mate’s aunty Carol’s brother. If you need to share with a guest, use your Guest network feature - it can restrict guests from seeing your files and other access in the home, but still provide a general internet connection.

Usernames and Passwords

Network naming

Don't call your WiFi network "[Your Name]’s House." Instead, call it something meaningless, such as "citycountry1981” or “quinc3paste”.

Be a password guru

Never use factory-set administrator passwords for your router. Change your router admin login password to something suitably strong and complex.

What we’re doing at LIFX to secure your devices

Encryption in Firmware & Software

As a part of our ongoing commitment to security, we have made improvements to data encryption across devices and will continue to enhance all our devices through regular firmware and software updates.

Make sure you always keep firmware and software up to date to take advantage of all security updates.

Working with security experts

We are also working with security consultants to ensure we are always vigilant and aware of the key security issues in smart home.

Q & A

Whilst any device is on the spectrum of vulnerability, companies that have a history of addressing security such as Amazon, Google and Nest are relatively safe.

No, because when you turn it back on at the wall, you still need to follow the steps above. So, the best way to use our lights is to keep them turned on at the wall, but follow best practice security processes as outlined above. (For clarity, if a light is switched off at the wall then it isn’t vulnerable at the time. But this is the definition of a temporary solution, so it isn’t really protecting you if you are going to continue to use your light!)

Apps like TinyCam Pro (which are used for interacting with security cameras) will scan your network for devices that exhibit known vulnerabilities. There are also devices hitting the market, even on Kickstarter, that are attempting to tackle the security question.

With each device, research what level of encryption they employ, and if they have had significant security breaches in the past. If they have, that’s not necessarily a bad thing since they will likely have addressed that problem. Update the firmware and software on your devices promptly after their release, and then regularly ongoing.