Security and the Internet of Things (IoT)

October 24, 2018

Why Worry About the Internet of Things?

What makes a thing “smart?” It is the ability to connect to the Internet--an ability that more and more things are gaining, from cars to clocks, TVs to toothbrushes. Yes, toothbrushes. The services these products provide may be convenient, but these smart things can also cause serious problems for you when they are insecurely connected to the Internet. Everything from your fitness tracker to your smart thermostat can reveal personal information or allow access to your computer network. 

A few simple steps can increase your level of protection.

  1. Don’t rush through the setup of your new internet-connected device. Consider each option. For example, if there is an opportunity to add a level of security such as a three-strike process for entering your password, take advantage of it.

  2. Change the default password. The default passwords are usually available to anyone online, so don’t take that easy shortcut. Use a complex password just as you would on your computer or smartphone.

  3. Update the software. Lurking inside every smart device, even a smart toothbrush, is a computer. Like all computers, your smart device needs the latest upgrades to protect it from the latest hacking scams.

We are in the early stages of the production of smart devices. Developers are only going to connect more and more of our everyday devices to the internet. Now is the time to develop good habits for dealing with smart devices.