Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices connected to the internet. This word is synonymous with smart homes in which smart devices connect to a home network to perform tasks effectively; some of them connect to the internet too. This means they get to interact with other devices in your homes such as your smartphone, network storage and other devices linked in the same network. Your smart devices are very helpful, but when you introduce the internet, they can be your source of harm.
This is because anything connected to the internet can be hacked and malicious actors start with the weakest point when performing attacks. More often, your IoTs such as smart devices suffer the first impact before the attacks propagate to even your computers. Other times, the malware can be in your computers, but since it can’t execute properly, it can travel to your smart devices and start wreaking havoc.
Getting rid of your IoTs privacy and security nightmare
It all starts with maintaining the best cybersecurity practices. Here is how;
- Research on the device you’re buying
Before buying any device that you will use regularly, do some thorough research especially on how it implements security and privacy. Most manufacturers offer devices which will put your entire privacy and security at risk since they are hackable easily.
- Change the default passwords/PIN
Most smart devices and other devices that connect to the internet even routers come with default passwords or pins as simple as 1234. Or rather yet, you can search your smart devices’ password online, most of them are freely available. When setting up your IoT device for the first time, ensure you change the default password. Use a strong unique password and change it after a certain period. Avoid devices which don’t allow to change the password or which don’t require passwords at all. Especially if they connect to the internet.
- Update your devices regularly
Proper research will tell you the right devices to buy. The manufacturers of these devices often push updates and patches to fix vulnerabilities which have been discovered before they are exploited. Other devices may lack the update option or just update themselves regularly.
- Use https when connecting to your smart devices
If you’re far from home, you might need to see maybe what’s going on in your home via your smart camera. This is possible as smart cameras allow you to connect to them via web interfaces. A lot of smart devices do. When connecting them, use secure channels and often ensure you use https. Unsecured channels can be hacked, and your smart devices will be at risk of either spreading malware or being controlled by bots.
- Secure your router, implement a firewall
Most of your devices connect to the internet via your router. This means your router can be a single point of weakness which malicious actors can exploit. Always use a strong password for your router, set up the network correctly and don’t forget to implement the firewall rules, most routers have the firewall functionality. The firewall will help you block all unauthorized connections.
- Consider the risk before buying the device
This goes for the smart devices that you can do away with. For instance, smart toys and baby monitors. They might be convenient, but they lack proper security mechanisms. Also, other alternatives maybe not smart but they get the job done without the worries of being hacked whatsoever.
- Use a VPN – IPBurgerVPN
A VPN is your best bet from keeping malicious actors at bay especially the ones that are after intercepting your devices’ traffic. IPBurger VPN uses strong encryption standards to ensure that your internet traffic and connections are safe from malicious actors and other prying eyes. Unfortunately, many smart devices may lack interfaces or don’t support the native installation of VPN apps. Worry not, in this case; you will configure the VPN on your router. This has many advantages since every device will be protected and you will not need extra subscriptions for all your devices.