Before we begin, if you aren’t familiar with the Internet of Things, here’s Everything you Wanted to Know About the Internet of Things to get you started. Come back when you’re finished reading and let’s jump right into it.
Smart devices have improved and infiltrated our lives, leading many to question whether this new tech is capable of keeping their personal information secure. A primary concern for many is the possibility that their IoT devices will be hacked. Information stolen from your devices can be sold on the dark web or used to break into your home or business. There are several steps you can take to mitigate the risk of being hacked while still benefiting from the advantages of smart technology.
1. Change the default password:
Oftentimes, you may find yourself changing the default password that comes with your new devices because they are lengthy and difficult to remember. Another reason to change the password is to prevent hackers, who may be familiar with the default passwords provided by a device’s manufacturer, from accessing your devices. To create a secure password there are several things to consider:
Does your password contain personal information?
Does your passport contain your birth date? Address?
Does your password contain the name of a family member?
Your ideal password should be 8-10 characters in length with a mix of capital and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. Sometimes, it is helpful to create a password from a joke, song lyric or other collection of words that are not obvious. In addition, make sure that you create a different password for each device, account or website.
2. Actually read the Terms and Conditions:
We’re all guilty of not reading this very important document. Its pages and pages of legal jargon can be difficult to decipher, but blindly accepting the terms of devices that may be privy to very personal information is a mistake. Take the time to read through this document and understand what sort of data will be collected and transmitted about you or your business.
3. Talk to the device’s provider for advice and tips:
There’s nobody who knows the product better than those who created it. Making a call to the company your device comes from is an easy way to fully understand and protect your device. If the provider is not willing to give you straightforward answers to your questions, you may want to bring your business to another company.
4. Enable automatic updates:
Companies provide software updates for a reason. If a software version has been around for a while, hackers already know exactly how to exploit it. By enabling automatic updates, you will be a version ahead of the people that are trying to sabotage you.
5. Segment the network so one breach doesn’t affect all the devices:
Creating more than one network in your house can be very effective in decreasing the impact of an attack. Even if a cybercriminal was able to compromise one of your home networks, the attack would not impact devices connected to your other networks.
One final thought:
If you crave the simplicity that smart homes and IoT devices provide, taking these few steps can help to protect your personal information from people who will not hesitate to exploit everything they find. At Troy Web, we firmly believe in putting security first. For this reason, all of our custom software is designed to serve the best interests of our clients without sacrificing security for usability or aesthetic.
Want to learn more about how we’ve helped our clients with their IoT devices? Check out these case studies.