Internet of Things

Considering Adding IoT Devices To Your Home? Follow These Safety Tips

Considering Adding IoT Devices

From using Alexa to listen to the news to modern refrigerators that keep track of our milk and alert us when low, internet of things is increasingly becoming a part of our lives.

And why not? The convenience offered, connectivity, ease of use and many other factors help us feel more relaxed and in control. Indeed, if you look up IoT news, you will find that every tech firm is in on the game, from hardware designers to the software firms that help build the coding.

But all is not gold. Where these interconnected devices bring a host of benefits, you will also find the IoT technology news full of security issues.

So, does that mean you shouldn’t get one to protect your sensitive data? Well, not exactly. There are vulnerabilities IoT devices, like all. But you can secure all of your devices from prying eyes and hackers with simple steps.

Don’t Use One Password For All

The best way to stop unauthorized access to your devices is to give each of them a strong password. Use upper case, lower case and special characters. The longer the password, the better.

At the same time, let each device have their own unique password. In case even if bad actors gain access to a device, they will be limited to that one only. Having the same password can mean hackers can gain complete access to all of your IoT devices if compromised.

Add Another Layer of Security With 2FA

What is better than one password? Two passwords!

In nearly all IoT tech news where there is a talk of a hack, it mostly turns out that not enough precautions were taken by the device owner. Using 2FA or even MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) means that you will need to put in two passwords to access any IoT device. One is the standard strong password unique to the device, followed by a rolling password that is randomly generated and lasts for a short period of time (from 30 seconds to 10 minutes).

The rolling password is also sent to the device of your choice (mobile app, SMS or email), meaning it can be very difficult for a bad actor to gain access to this.

Are Your Devices on The Latest Firmware?

IoT tech news is full of ever new vulnerabilities found in the devices’ firmware. While manufacturers try their best, nefarious people can always find novel ways of accessing IoT devices.

That is why reputable manufacturers always have regular updates to their firmware. These security patches can help plug holes that were overlooked or not realized they existed.

Regular firmware checks and immediate updates can keep your devices secure from known exploits

Use A Dedicated Network

Instead of having all of your devices on a single network, shift your IoT devices to a dedicated wireless network.

There are two ways you can go about it. The easiest way is to by a second router and slave it to the main one. Alternatively, many routers today come with virtual WiFi network capabilities, where you can have a separate WiFi network run from the same device.

Since you will not be logging into that dedicated WiFi network with your laptop or mobile, you can set up an extremely complicated router password to secure your devices even further.

Understand Your WiFi Settings

Never use your WiFi router in its default settings. While changing the username and password is always a must, there is a lot more to your IoT and wireless security than that.

Set up a firewall, use data exchange limiters if possible. One difficult but worthy practice you can do is to setup MAC binding on your router. It is tedious, with you entering every device’s MAC address in the router settings, but once done, your WiFi network will not accept connections from unknown devices, even if they have the right password.

Of course, if you want to install a new device, you will need to add in the MAC every time. A little trade-off for a better security is always advisable.

Understand IoT Manufacturer Data Policy

Manufacturers themselves have been in the crosshair recently in internet of things technology news lately. While you can set up different barriers and digital roadblocks to stop outsiders attempting to gain access to your devices, you should also know what the manufacturers are collecting.

Read through the device manufacturer’s data collection policy. Even the littlest of things such as having your device microphone on all the time can be dangerous. While an active mic means you can simply call out to your device and order operations, the manufacturer might be listening and collecting what you are talking about – things you don’t want others to know.

Know of any more tips? Let us know and we can integrate it in our list!

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