Smart home devices are rapidly replacing the traditional devices and are providing not only comfort and convenience, but also a higher risk of cybercrimes.
Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices that can transfer data through internet connection. Such devices such as smart TVs, web cameras, gaming consoles, smart light bulbs, and smart thermostats make life easier. However, without proper protection measures in place, they offer attackers a number of ways to access personal data.
- Hacking into web cameras or baby monitors provides attackers with a live stream of the happenings inside your house.
- Smart thermostats or light bulbs can provide details about when the house is empty.
- Hackers can infiltrate into smart alarm systems and disable them before entering the house.
- Another major concern is that hacking into IoT devices may expose the WiFi password. This can allow the tracking of your network activity and even possibly steal sensitive information such as banking credentials or medical information.
Consumers are more focused on the features of the device, rather than the security. As such the security of these devices is a source of concern.
What should you do?
- Invest in trusted brands; be sure to familiarise yourself with the privacy policies.
- Change the default username and password of any IoT device that you use. Be sure to create strong passwords.
- Ensure your devices have the latest updates and security patches installed.
- Check the settings of your devices and disable any feature that you do not need.
- Avoid connecting devices to public WiFi networks, especially when accessing your online banking or email accounts.
Internet of Things are beneficial devices that are being enjoyed by many. However, they have created opportunities for cybercriminals who take advantage of vulnerable systems. It’s imperative therefore that a defense plan is in place to secure these devices upon installation. Failure to do so can result in more worries than what they are worth.