The Internet of Things ( IoT) is an integrated “smart platform” infrastructure or network. These Internet-connected things are called non-traditional because they do not fall into the categories of laptops, smartphones, or cell phones. Yet, how healthy are they, exactly?
All IoT gadgets are many kinds of physical items, such as IP cameras used for surveillance, internet-connected televisions, smart fridges, smart crockpots, smart door locks, and smart vehicles. Because these things, including computers and other electronic devices, are linked to the internet, they can be compromised. Although hackers do not want to hack your crockpot or refrigerator, they do hack into your car.
Smart devices make your life easier. It takes just a few clicks to unlock your home’s door, select a movie from the couch, or check your refrigerator while at the store. But how does all this work?
Smart devices collect information to perform the functions you use, such as the suggesting websites to visit by storing your entered passwords. Your smart phone and home network stores that information, which makes your life easier by allowing you to skip some login steps. The more you’re connected to various apps and devices, the more ways your information can be shared or stolen. Unfortunately, thieves can profit from that information if stolen.
How much have you clicked on the link “I approve” without reading the user agreement when you download an app or install a programme? You could be sharing your information or having unauthorized access to other applications or devices by clicking the link.
Keeping your information safe
Here’s a great checklist that can help you keep your smart devices safe and secure:
- Install Internet security software on your computers, tablets and smartphones.
- Use multifactor authentication to secure your devices. If multifactor authentication is not available, be sure to use strong, unique passwords on all device accounts, Wi-Fi networks and connected devices.
- Change your passwords frequently.
- Always read the user agreements that come with the apps and devices you use.
- Do research before you buy; check to see if there are known security/privacy issues.
- Know the data your apps and devices are storing; is it necessary?
- Only enable functions that are necessary; does the app or device need to connect to the Internet? (Does your slow cooker really need to be connected to the internet?)
- Does the app or device need to access other apps or devices?
- Check the app’s or device’s website for updates.
- Never leave your smartphone unattended.