In today’s modern time, it seems that everything is connected to everything.  It is crazy to think that your refrigerators can now connect to the internet. Internet of Things (IoT) or smart devices refers to any object or device that is connected to the Internet. This rapidly expanding set of “things,” which can send and receive data, includes cars, appliances, smartwatches, lighting, home assistants, home security, and more.

So why do you care that everything can connect to everything else?  Manufactures of these devices care about the consumer and their consumers’ spending habits.  Having to constantly stay ahead of their competitors that are developing the same product they are, they sometimes times don’t have time to invest in the security features of their devices.  What makes it even harder for manufacturers is to keep up to date with patching their devices.  The security of this information and the security of these devices is not always guaranteed.  Once your device connects to the Internet, you and your device could potentially be vulnerable to all sorts of risks.  With more connected “things” entering our homes and our workplaces each day, it is important that everyone knows how to secure their digital lives.

Try these simple tricks to help keep yourself safe:

  • Shake up your password protocol. Change your device’s factory security settings from the default password. This is one of the most critical steps to take in the protection of IoT devices.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Many connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved, gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
  • Secure your network. Properly secure the wireless network you use to connect Internet-enabled devices. Consider placing these devices on a separate and dedicated network.

If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense is to stay on top of things by updating to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. If you have the option to enable automatic updates to defend against the latest risks, turn it on.