You have “smart” TVs, dishwashers, thermostats, voice assistants, security systems and more. Each one of these devices connects to the internet and can make you and your family vulnerable to attack. Continue reading to learn simple steps for tips on how to use “smart” devices safely.
How to safely use “smart” devices
The so-called internet of things (IoT) connects everything from coffee pots to doorbells to the internet. Although cutting-edge technology has made these “things” more convenient than ever before, they also add to your online footprint.
Just like your computer, smartphone, and tablet, your internet-connected appliances need attention before they can be safely used. Here’s how to get started.
Spend some time tracking down all the devices in use in your home and office. This simple assessment will help you have the basic information you need to safeguard your online security.
Create a spreadsheet, database, or written list of all the wired and wireless “things” that surround you. Next, log in to each one and record information such as MAC address, username, and password into a spreadsheet or written log.
Make sure that none of your connected devices use default login credentials, including a strong password.
Also, as you log in to each device, check for firmware and software updates. Doing this will ensure that your devices have the latest patches and bug fixes that can help keep you and them safe.
Although many devices have a menu option for downloading and updating software and firmware (some can even run these updates automatically), some require manual attention.
After updating your devices once, add quarterly checkups to your calendar to help guard against vulnerabilities.
Segregate Your Devices
IoT devices and appliances are known for their vulnerabilities. Perhaps that’s why so many hackers attack them. To contain any intrusions into your network, make sure that your IoT devices are separated from those that manage sensitive personal and business information.
You can either use two separate routers to operate your digital gear or create two separate segmented networks using a single router. Either way, this step will make it difficult for hackers to gain access to confidential information by way of your microwave or fridge.
Disable Auto Connect
Many “smart” products automatically connect to the internet as well as to other “smart” devices. Take control over your IoT devices by setting them up to connect manually, with your confirmation. This simple step can dramatically reduce your exposure by limiting the time your appliances spend online.
Get a VPN
Buy a VPN-enabled router to enhance the security of your entire home and office. This way, everything that you connect to the internet has protection against incoming attacks. Visit IwantMyVPN.com to get the best VPN reviews online. We also have links that you can use to buy the best VPN services with the best deals.