Add these 5 critical daylight saving home tech tune ups at the same time you set your clocks ahead. Ever wonder why privacy settings on everyday tech in our homes suddenly change after getting a software update? Chances are the privacy and security settings aren’t set the same for any number of home devices since the last time we changed our clocks for daylight savings.

It often happens without our knowing it. Firmware updates at random can change your privacy settings on virtually every connected device in your home. Adding these home tasks the moment you’ve finished setting the coffeemaker clock ahead one hour will make sure your home technology is up to date and in sync with your desired privacy settings. Here’s the home task list that I follow to put a modern spin on daylight saving time change twice a year.

CLOCKS SET AHEAD ONE HOUR

Change your clocks setting them ahead one hour on March 8 at 200am. Do the same thing with your car clock unless you own a Tesla or other connected car that automatically gets you dialed into the correct time.

SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERIES CHANGED & EXPIRATION DATE CHECKED

Replace batteries and check expiration date of each fire, smoke and CO2 detector. Smoke detectors should last from 7 to 10 years according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) before they become ineffective at alert you to fire.

Check the label on back when changing batteries. You will usually see a manufactured date and on some modern detectors, you might see an expiration date. Google the make and model to see the expected life of each smoke detector and write it on the back with a sharpie marker to remind you when to swap it for a new one.

HOME SMART SPEAKERS PRIVACY RECHECK

Recheck privacy settings on each of your home devices like Amazon Echo Alexa and Google Home. Delete voice recordings and opt for the most privacy protected settings and disable other privacy-concerning options.

For Amazon Echo, set it to automatically delete your voice recordings. Launch the Alexa app. Tap the three lines menu on top left > Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage your Alexa data > turn on Automatically delete recordings. Next turn off Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions.

Kurt Tip: You can now ask commands “Alexa, Why did you do that?” and “Alexa, tell me what you heard”

 

GET RID OF STRANGERS ON YOUR HOME WIFI ROUTER

The number one way hackers can get access to your home is through an unprotected internet router with out of date software.

  • Search Google for your router to learn how to get to into its settings after locating its make and model label on your internet home router.
  • Review the all the settings of your WiFi Internet router. Make sure unknown devices are not connected to your home network.
  • Update software and turn on automatic firmware updates if available.
  • Make sure Firewall is turned on.
  • Disable remote access and remote administration for best security.

Find out what hackers can do in your home and then check the safety of your home internet here

RESET TV PRIVACY

Your TV is more like a connected computer than a television now. Twice a year check that your smart tv software is up to date and that settings remain set to private. Some TV makers reset privacy settings during firmware updates. Avoid allowing your tv to collect private data about you. While the features may seem interesting, the terms of service agreement we all agree to without much thought often allow your TV to share your personal habits and viewing information with numerous third parties. And worse, you will never be allowed to get that information back. Here’s how to get control of the most popular tv devices:

For most Samsung TVs:

  • Settings > Support >Terms & Policy > Viewing information Services > uncheck “I Agree” to stop from being tracked
  • Next, in the same Terms & Policy section, select “Interest-Based Advertisements Service Privacy Notice” to turn off targeted ads

ROKU:

  • Settings > Privacy > Advertising > check Limit ad tracking
  • Uncheck Smart TV Experience

AMAZON FIRE TV:

  • Settings > Preferences > Privacy Settings > select Device Usage Data and turn off
  • Next select Collect App and Over-the-Air Usage Data and turn off
  • Then select Interest-based Ads and turn off

VIDEO DOORBELL OPT OUT

Ring shares your doorbell activity and data with third parties like Facebook and Amazon unless you tell them not to. An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that Ring has shared personally identifiable information such as when you are home and away, names, email addresses, when you use the doorbell app, model numbers and your home internet address. Here’s how to block third party data from being shared by Ring.

  • Launch Ring app > tap menu on top left > Control Center > Third Party Service Providers > Opt Out
  • Next see if there are any strangers currently signed into your Ring doorbell. From the Control Center in the Ring app, select Shared Users.
  • Then set Two-Factor Authentication within the Control Center to make it next to impossible for a hacker to get into your Ring doorbell.

Share these 5 Daylight Saving Must-Do tasks with your family and friends to make sure they are in sync with these valuable security updates and privacy settings.

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