During the holidays, internet-connected devices also known as Internet of Things (IoT) are often popular gifts—such as smart TVs, watches, toys, phones, and tablets. This technology provides a level of convenience to our lives, but it requires that we share more information than ever. The security of this information, and the security of these devices, is not always guaranteed.
We recommend these important steps you should consider to make your Internet of Things more secure:
Use strong passwords. Passwords are a common form of authentication and are often the only barrier between you and your personal information. Some Internet-enabled devices are configured with default passwords to simplify setup. These default passwords are easily found online, so they don’t provide any protection. Choose strong passwords to help secure your device. ALWAYS change the default password on any new device.
Evaluate your security settings. Most devices offer a variety of features that you can tailor to meet your needs and requirements. Enabling certain features to increase convenience or functionality may leave you more at risk. It is important to examine the settings, particularly security settings, and select options that meet your needs without putting you at increased risk. If you install a patch or a new version of software, or if you become aware of something that might affect your device, reevaluate your settings to make sure they are still appropriate.
Ensure you have up-to-date software. When manufacturers become aware of vulnerabilities in their products, they often issue patches to fix the problem. Patches are software updates that fix a particular issue or vulnerability within your device’s software. Make sure to apply relevant patches as soon as possible to protect your devices.
Connect carefully. Once your device is connected to the Internet, it’s also connected to millions of other computers, which could allow attackers access to your device. Consider whether continuous connectivity to the Internet is needed.
Business or Personal. Carefully consider any Internet-connected device and it’s introduction into your business environment. If it is not necessary for your business, we recommend leaving it at home. Some devices have persistent listening, location sharing, and even webcams, all of which present privacy issues.
Give Us A Call. Our members and clients should let us know if you plan to bring any new tech into your business so that we can assist you in evaluating and securing the device. If you aren’t a member or client, now is the perfect time to have a conversation. It may just be the best gift you can give your business!