Smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) are rapidly connecting consumers to the internet like never before—but along with convenience, this technology can come with risk. Fitness trackers, virtual assistants and other smart products are not always built with security in mind, and can potentially open your home network to cybercriminals and reveal your information without your knowledge.
To help you protect yourself and your family, here are seven tips you can take to prevent your smart devices from leaking your data or being compromised by malicious cyberactivity:
- Only purchase devices from companies with a strong reputation for support, security features and updates.
- Create strong and unique passwords for all devices and wireless networks. If your smart device comes with a default password, change it as soon as possible to make it more secure.
- During setup, consider registering devices with an email address that does not include your name or personal identifying information.
- Be aware of the kind of data your device collects, and how that data is used and shared with other parties; turn off unnecessary data-sharing functionality.
- Disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity whenever possible, especially if your device is not in use, to prevent hackers from remotely gaining access to your device.
- Place smart devices, such as smart TVs, security cameras and thermostats, on a wireless guest network separate from your primary network, which you may use to send and communicate sensitive and confidential information.
- Keep firmware and data protection software up-to-date, including operating systems, antivirus and security patches.