Christmas has been and gone and you are left with some fun, new tech gadgets that you may have not realised even existed. With technology evolving at such a rapid rate, expect 2017 to introduce you to more IoT (Internet of Things) devices to help simplify your life. It all sounds exciting but before you hit record on YouTube to create an unboxing video of your new gadget, connect and press go, make sure you are fully aware how to properly secure your device to combat hack attacks (Ain’t nobody got time for that!).
Do not let the words hacking and security overwhelm you as properly securing your devices isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Be smart and follow these no-brainer, helpful hints to properly secure your device.
Change the password
It may sound like a broken record on repeat with the same advice but this is one very crucial element that enable IoT devices to be hacked in the first place. Most new devices come with a default password and it is important that you change it at once.
Use a mix of characters, capitals and numbers interwoven to create an alien-type language that will be difficult to crack. Three random words, SaY#N02H@CK$ – Whatever the combination, make sure it is highly original and most importantly, keep it to yourself.
Need help with creating the most complex password of all time? Measure your password’s trick star rating at Password Meter or How Secure Is My Password.
Secure your network
Double up on the digital padlock. Make sure that your Wi-Fi is secured at a WPA2 level at all times. Make sure its not a free-for-all by revealing the access code to anyone that you do not want using the network. This isn’t an open party.
Play network master
Why have one network when you can have two? If your router can handle multiple SSIDs, create two different networks, one for general web activity (shopping, banking etc) and the other for smart devices.
Create a wall
I’m not talking about walls on American borders, I am talking about building a firewall for your network. You can do this with a stand-alone appliance or with software that transmits with the router to restrict other connections.
Most networked IoT devices include information in their manuals or online support regarding ports, network protocols and IP addresses. Make sure you set the firewall to allow traffic on those specific ports only as port restrictions will hinder hacking attempts.
Read through instructions
Dealing with internet connected devices may not be as black and white and picturesque like an IKEA manual. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and if there is anything you are unsure of, contact customer service to get them to better explain it without the technical jargon that you may of encountered – Connect what with what now?
Be mindful of what information and data you put out there in the first place in the off-chance that your connected device was hacked. Make sure you understand how your information and data will be stored and protected and if you agree with the privacy settings.
We get immunisations to protect ourselves; computers and tech gadgets need that protection also. Check out this list for ant-virus protection for IoT devices.
If you have an Android device, check out this list for anti-virus and malware apps to better protect your device.
Look carefully at what brands you buy into
It is only fair to have the expectation for IoT device manufacturers to have extreme attention to detail in creating and properly securing their platforms. If the manufacturer does not take this step seriously, step away. Those who take security seriously (look at the big brands) are less likely to risk loosing their reputation with quick to the factory products.
Image credit: Trusted choice.