As more of our devices become internet-enabled, it seems that IoT is forging ahead to appease our demand for ease of use. However, there are some problems with this process. As we access all of these wondrous tools that are connected to our network, very few people are asking the critical question: are they secure?
The stream of IoT products that are hitting the market bring incredible advantages in technology and ease of use. The entire process is designed to sync to your network, and yet in doing so, we must realise that these devices are also collecting information and storing it. Manufacturers have put very little thought into making these devices secure, so there is a very real possibility that they can be easily hacked.
What? You say? That speaker that is synced via Bluetooth to your iPhone has all of your data and no security? The smart refrigerator that you access remotely to check the contents could also be available to a cybercriminal to get into your network? How about the IoT locks on your doors? The answer is “yes.” The more apps and access that you have on your phone, the higher you security risks. Even trying to contact the manufacturers can be an exercise in futility. Most will respond that they have no encryption or any form of security protocols in place.
The renowned security company, Norton, have some recommendations to assist in guarding your IoT security and protecting you from hackers:
- Make sure that all of your computers, smartphones, and tablets have a reputable internet security software installed that will provide real-time protection against current and future viruses and malware.
- Use unique and strong passwords on all of your device accounts. Never use personal names or dates, or 123456 or “password.”
- Before you buy an IoT product, do the research on it to see if the device will be collecting a lot of personal data, how it’s stores, and if it’s shared with third parties. Know the manufacturers policies and protection protocol in case of a data breach.
- Be familiar with what data an app or devices wants to access on your smartphone. If it doesn’t appear to be necessary, deny permission.
- A VPN is another level of security that can help to ensure that the data transmitted from your home or public Wi-Fi is safe.
- Keep a list of IoT manufacturer websites so that you can regularly check them for updates on firmware.
- Be very cautious about social sharing features on some of the apps as they can expose your location, personal information, and inform others that you aren’t at home. Cybercriminals can make use of this to track your location which could lead to real-world personal dangers, including cyberstalking.
- Keep track of your smartphone location and never leave it unattended, especially when you are in public spaces. If you are in larger crowds, turn off Bluetooth access and your Wi-Fi when you aren’t using them to cut the ability of automatic sharing when others are close by.
Cybersecurity is now part of our personal and business lives in ways that we never dreamed of in the past. We cannot rely on the manufacturers, system programmers, or designers to watch out for the protection of our information. DaVinci Forensics maintains the latest information on the many potential breaches and security problems that can occur and works with businesses and individuals to help keep their systems protected.
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