New gadgets are entering the market all the time, and many of these are connected to the internet and embrace the new concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). This adds convenience to our lives and brings all kinds of fun benefits. However, there are risks because security can be compromised and put at risk when using IoT devices in some cases.
If your home’s devices are connected and interacting with one another, protecting them becomes even more important than it was already. To help you understand the importance of this better, we’ve put together a guide to cover all of the most important details. Read on to find out more.
How IoT Devices Can be Vulnerable
The main thing to know about IoT devices from a security perspective is that they offer new points of entry that wouldn’t otherwise be there. These points of entry can, in theory, be used by cybercriminals who want to hijack your network and compromise your privacy and security.
If you have an IoT thermostat, a hacker could work out when you are and aren’t at home. They could also send viruses such as ransomware to extract money from you. It could even be used to find out your passwords or highly sensitive financial information.
Examples of How Cybercriminals Target These Devices
Cybercriminals can access your home network via your router. This allows them to send malicious software if they want to. It can then spread through all of the hardware connected to your router via the same methods that are used by your IoT devices to communicate data between one another.
It’s also known that IoT devices can be used to launch larger glocal attacks. This happened in 2016 and caused platforms like PayPal and Netflix to temporarily shut down to combat the attack. It shows just how precise and how vast these attacks that use IoT devices can be.
Steps to Take to Make Your Home Networks More Secure
There are some simple steps you can take if you want to secure your home networks and ensure you aren’t left vulnerable by your use of IoT and smart devices in the home.
Change Default Usernames and Passwords
You should always change the default passwords of your IoT devices because you’ll be at serious risk if you stick with a default. All good devices will let you change the password and the username, so make sure you do both of these things at the soonest possible opportunity. For all devices and for your Wifi network, your passwords should be long and unique.
Use Better Antivirus Software
It’s important to have good antivirus software in place so that you can spot problems very quickly if they do arise. You can use Bitdefender or Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac if you need to make an upgrade. Having a reliable antivirus software in place will keep you safe and provide you with peace of mind.
Use Strong Encryption
You should take a look at your router settings and see if you can change the encryption method if the current one isn’t protective enough. WPA2 is a good option if you want to do this. It can also be done when you set up a new Wifi network access. With this in place, you’ll be protected and your communications will be safe and secure.
Keep Software Up to Date
When there are updates available for the IoT devices you use in your home, you should make sure you install those update right away. Manufacturers often release updates because they patch security flaws and things like that. Therefore, without those updates, your devices will be vulnerable to attacks by hackers and cybercriminals. It’s quick and easy to install these updates, so don’t ignore them.
Make Use of Two-Factor Authentication
If you want to stop people from accessing your accounts using data they might have accessed by hacking your home network via IoT devices, you should use two-factor authentication. It makes it a lot harder for anyone to access your accounts if they’re not authorised to do so. It’s easy to set this up and it makes a real difference to your security.
You’ve probably already got some sort of smart or IoT device in your home, but even if you haven’t yet, their use is only going to grow so you’ll probably have one soon. They can improve our lives and make them more convenient, but we also need to be careful and think harder about the security issues raised above.