5 Security Tips to Protect Your Internet Connected Devices
Even if you are not intimately familiar with the Internet of Things, chances are you have a few of those IoT devices in your home. If you have a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, you are already part of the IoT ecosystem. The same goes for the smart TV that streams your favourite Netflix shows and the online DVR that records those programs for you.
These IoT devices are quite powerful, but there is one fatal flaw in their design. When these devices were created, they were not always designed with security in mind. As a result, IoT devices have become the weak link in the security chain and a way for hackers to gain access to wireless networks and everything connected to them.
If you want to enjoy the great things the Internet of Things has to offer, you need to be smart about online security. With the IoT revolution in high gear, users can no longer afford to take the security of their connected devices for granted. Here are five smart ways to protect your IoT devices without diminishing their power or usefulness.
1. Check the password parameters before you buy
Some IoT devices have built-in passwords that cannot be changed, while others do not require passwords at all. Avoid these inherently insecure devices and choose ones that allow strong user-generated passwords instead.
2. Use connectivity only if you need it
Just because your new fridge can connect to the internet does not mean it should. Keeping some devices offline can improve the security of your wireless network by helping you avoid undue risks.
3. Set up a guest network for your connected devices
If your router allows it, consider setting up a special guest network just for your IoT devices. This simple step will keep those devices off your regular wireless network and prevent more serious damage if the security of the devices is breached.
4. Upgrade your firmware right away
By the time the IoT devices hit the store shelves and finally your home, its firmware could be seriously out of date. Be sure to upgrade to the latest firmware as soon as you connect the device.
5. Choose a different password for each device
Using the same password for every smart device in your home is just as bad as using the same credentials for every website you visit. Be sure your passwords are unique to each device and set strong credentials for anything that connects to the internet.
It was not that long ago that the only internet-connected devices were laptops and desktop computers, but those days are long over. In the 21st-century every conceivable device, from the fridge in your kitchen to the TV in the lounge, comes with a portal to the online world.
In a world where your fridge can track its contents and automatically order your groceries, you need to be very cautious. Having those devices connected to the internet can be very convenient, but those connections can put your security and privacy at risk. If you want to enjoy all the good things the Internet of Things can bring your home and your life, you need to take security seriously. Taking a proactive approach to IoT security is one of the best ways to protect your security and safeguard your network.