How to Protect IoT Devices from Hackers

protect from hackers

The digital landscape has changed how our homes become operational; now, every house owns one or more Internet of things (IoT) devices. From video doorbells to surveillance cameras to thermostats to smart speakers, everything requires an internet connection to operate at some point in time.

These IoT devices can become a nightmare if you don’t handle them properly. They can make it easier for cybercriminals to steal your data and breach your privacy. While using IoT devices, make sure you know how to protect your home from negative consequences, especially hacking.

Set up A Secure Wi-Fi Network

Most people don’t change the Wi-Fi network’s name and continue with the same name and password set by the manufacturer. Companies generally use a model-specific name for a router with a generic password. You have to secure your Wi-Fi network at the time of installation and immediately change the name of the SSID, the name of the Wi-Fi connection, and the password. In addition, make sure to update the security protocols for your internet devices. The newest standard for home internet is WiFi6 which comes with the latest security protocols. If hackers try to access your IoT devices, the latest security protocols make it harder for them.

In this way, you can keep your internet connection and connected IoT devices secured from potential hacking and cyber-attacks.

Establish Multiple Networks

When all digital devices such as cellphones, refrigerators, and TV use the same internet connection, hackers are likely to break into the system. To ensure cyber security for internet of things, split your network for various functions and frequently check it. Set up a separate network for your computers, laptops, and mobile phones. If the security of IoT devices is compromised, you are in a position to safeguard your important data from potential threats of hacking. Most routers come up with secondary guest networks that you can set up to connect with IoT devices. With the added advantage of streaming and browning at high speed, it will bug off malware and cyber attackers from damaging your main system.

Check Updates for Security Software and Firmware

Most people remain unaware when the router reconfigures maliciously or gets infected with any virus until it damages the whole system. To protect your network and IoT from hackers, check firmware frequently, which is security software for routers and other connected IoT. Access router firmware to configure the settings and update the security. You can manually or automatically install updates for your internet and other connected devices. If you trust the third-party servers, you can opt for automatic updates otherwise, set a reminder to install updates manually. IT manufacturers upscale their products often and introduce the latest security features to ensure protection from cyber threats. Make sure your IoT devices are updated with the latest security protocols.

Create Strong Passwords

After setting security protocols for your internet connection, it’s time to get started with the protection of each device and service-connected via the internet. A mobile application usually controls the functioning of IoT devices by setting up an account. You may face trouble memorizing each device’s different passwords, but it is the safest way to secure your devices from hackers. One password for all devices sounds convenient, but it is an open invitation to breach the security of cyber attackers. Always follow the guidelines to create strong passwords. They usually consist of one capital letter, special characters, and numbers. Hard-to-crack passwords are based on trillions of combinations, making it harder for hackers to access the system. Moreover, change your password every sixth month to keep hackers at bay.

Implement Two-Factor Authentication

In the wake of cyber threats to digital devices, experts recommend enabling two-factor authentication for every device in addition to a strong password. Many IoT devices such as Google Nest, Amazon Echo, Ring, Arlo, and others support this feature. You can install two-factor authentication by changing the security settings or even use an additional authenticator app. Every time you log in to your account, you receive an OTP (One Time Password) on your cellphone via text message or email, adding an extra security layer to your account. Even if hackers successfully crack your password, they cannot get access to OTP enabled through a two-factor authentication app which means you’re free from stress caused by potential cyber threats.

Keep an Eye on Your Network

People at high risk of cyber threats can manually monitor the security of their internet connection. Several security programs and suites are available to help you easily track the connected device to your router. You can permit the trusted devices to get connected to the home network. For instance, Wireless Network Watcher is a security program that allows you to restrict only home devices to connect to the internet. Implementing cloud-based technology solutions can also protect your IoT devices from hackers. However, some software is available on Windows, Mac, and other operating systems on desktops and laptops with no coverage for cell phones and tablets.

Don’t Use Universal Plug and Play

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a common and easy way for digital devices to connect without user interference and manual configuration. But it also has a downside. With this feature, digital devices like cameras, printers, microphones, and other IoT have become extremely vulnerable to hacking attacks. Users enable UPnP for easy access to multiple devices at a time. Still, it also allows hackers to discover all digital devices in one go without sabotaging the security of each device. The best way to protect your IoT from cyber-attacks is never to use Universal Plug and Play.

Final Thoughts

The Internet of Things plays a crucial role in our daily lives, giving us a seamless experience with quick and efficient responses. But it also proves to be a threat to privacy; every device can hear everything we say. Most appliances like TV, refrigerator and washing machines can connect to the internet to automate and enhance productivity. You need to be vigilant when using these devices and decide when to connect them to the internet and when not. You must pay attention to the features of IoT devices and understand exactly when the device needs an internet connection to become functional.

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