What You Should Know About IoT
IoT stands for Internet of Things. It refers to the network of billions of physical devices all over the world that are connected to the internet. Smartphones and PCs do not fall under this category because IoT devices are those that one would typically not expect to be able to connect to the internet, e.g. a lightbulb, streetlight, or thermostat that can be manipulated through a smartphone app.
As per a survey of 2016, given below are some of the preferred IoT devices across the UK:
- Smart TV (27%)
- Smart Meter (26%)
- SmartWatch (20%)
- Wireless fitness tracker (17%)
- Alarm systems that are connected to the internet (14%)
- Internet-connected cameras (13%)
- Cars that connect to the Internet (11%) and so on.
IoT Security Concerns
The sensors, which the IoT devices are embedded with, collect highly sensitive information from the environment around them; whatever you do or say in your home. It, therefore, becomes a necessity to protect this information. Unfortunately, the IoT security record has not been up to par.
How You Can Ensure Your Privacy
- Be Aware of All Your Connections
The average UK home has 8.3 connected devices (2016 statistics). You should make a list of all the devices in your household and analyse what information each receives.
- Don’t Keep Default Passwords
All the smart technologies come with a default password that most people are ignorant towards. It is very important to immediately change it to a strong password with special characters, numbers, capitals, etc.
- Segment Your Network
You can consult your router manual to set up a separate network for your IoT devices. This segmentation will make it harder for the hackers to get their hands on your personal data.
- Avoid Using Insecure Internet Connections
Don’t use an unprotected Wi-Fi to check on your smart devices as they may become vulnerable to hackers. Always use strong passwords and periodically update them.
- Secure Your Smartphone
If you’ve lost your smartphone, then it is highly likely for someone to be able to hack into your smart devices through it. You should use mobile security apps that will enable you to backup and lock your smartphone if any such scenario occurs.
- Update Security Patches ASAP
Updates are periodically released for smart devices, and you need to address them right away to ensure maximum security.
- Disconnect Devices When Not in Use
Although some smart devices require a 24/7 internet connection, there are many that don’t, e.g. smart TVs, video cameras, etc. You should always disconnect them when they aren’t needed.
- Keep a Check on Your Children
You should make sure your children are aware of the security risks concerning these smart devices before using them. You should supervise their usage and teach them not to share any personal information with strangers.
IoT has taken the world by storm; the number of IoT devices being used to facilitate everyday life is drastically increasing every year. With this magnitude of usage, comes an alarming rate of security concerns. It is predominantly up to the consumer to maintain viable security measures. It would be lucrative to consult experts in this matter for more information about Cyber Essentials that one needs to have in place to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.