September 15, 2021

Last Updated on January 19, 2024

With summer vacation coming to an end, folks are headed back to work and school. Due to the pandemic this no longer means heading back to the office or classroom, as many continue to work and learn remotely.

But wherever you are, cyber criminals are always watching and looking for a vulnerability – a way to access your network and ultimately take control of your “smart” devices, from laptops to baby monitors. As the internet of things (IoT) becomes a bigger part of your daily workflow, it’s important to know how protect those smart IoT devices from being compromised by cybercriminals.

Here are some simple and actionable “golden rules” for keeping your IoT ecosystem secure:

  • Don’t share and share alike: Do not access unprotected, shared networks and conversely don’t share your own network through a network sharing feature. Be advised that many smart products, such as speakers or communication devices, have sharing opt-in features as defaults. These should be changed if you don’t intend to share your network with others.
  • Keep software up to date: Don’t be lazy when it comes to software updates! They aren’t just to improve usability, but often provide security updates and patches that are needed to limit security vulnerabilities. Plus, once a patch is released, hackers know all about the vulnerabilities in unpatched versions and will immediately target them.
  • Use unique or anonymous naming conventions: Give your network or devices a name that you recognize by sight, but that a cyber criminal wouldn’t easily be able to tie back to you. Avoid using personal or searchable information in your naming (such as a pet’s name, your name, maiden name, address, street, etc.).
  • Can you hear me now?: Be sure to program your own voice profile to voice activated devices. This prevents people who may gain unintended access to your devices from using their own voice profile to access financial or confidential information (purchasing, banking, subscription services, etc.).

What’s Next?

As time goes on, devices will still be smart, and criminals will get smarter. But you’ll be the smartest if you continue to be diligent. Stay safe out there!

Looking for some related content about the Cybersecurity Executive Order? Check out this post: IoT Devices: The Lord Giveth and He Taketh Away | Pivot Point Security

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