When a home filled with smart devices changes hands, it can create security risks for sellers and buyers. To help protect yourself, consider the following steps.
- Ask sellers for manuals and manufacturer contact information for all smart devices.
- Notify manufacturers of change of ownership and provide new contact information so they can send you updates and security patches.
- Update all devices to the latest security software and firmware.
- Change passwords and usernames of the devices.
- Change access codes for door locks, gates and garage door openers.
- Make a list of all smart devices that will stay after the sale, including locks, lighting, thermostats, alarms, streaming video players, modems and wifi repeaters.
- Immediately before closing, re-set all devices to factory defaults to wipe off email addresses, credit card numbers and other personal data.
- If a device is tied to a personal email, create a free, generic email address (ex. 101YOURSTREET@gmail.com) and connect the device to that.
- At closing, pass the generic email address and other smart home codes to buyers.
Sources: Online Trust Alliance, National Association of Realtors