5 key practices for keeping all your IoT devices safe
There are plenty more things you can do to keep your IoT devices safe and secure. Here’s a quick rundown on what you should know.
The Internet of Things keeps growing at a lightning-fast pace. According to a Business Insider report, there were about 8 billion IoT devices in 2019. The same report shows that the number might reach a whopping 41 billion by 2027. The world’s becoming a haven for hackers and cybersecurity threats keep popping up.
According to a University of Maryland study, hackers attack every 39 seconds. Do we have what it takes to protect against them? With the following practices, you’ll eliminate security risks and keep all your IoT devices and sensitive data safe and secure.
Change ID Settings on All Your IoT Devices
Devices like routers, for instance, come with default usernames and passwords. Cybercriminals can quickly uncover them by searching for your router’s make and model on online forums or the manufacturer’s website.
You use your router to connect all your devices to the internet, including your smartphone, laptop, smart speakers, and even smart kitchen appliances. Yes, hackers could breach your security even through your smart fridge, for instance.
When they gain access to your router or any other IoT device, they can then access all your connected devices.
That’s why you must change default usernames and passwords on all your devices, especially your router. Make sure you also change the router’s designated name. Your passwords should be alphanumeric, long, and impossible to guess.
Utilize a Password Manager
Password managers are some of the best tools to see the light of day. Using one will help you take your security to a whole new level. You can say goodbye to remembering all your passwords or worrying if someone would crack them.
This tool will generate entirely random passwords for all your devices and accounts. You only need to remember the master password or PIN, unless you use biometrics, which is also an option.
If anyone tries to breach your systems, the tool will block them and alert you. It will also regularly change all your passwords to prevent potential breaches.
Key features to look for in a password manager include:
- Random password generator
- Two-factor authentication
- Password vault with remote backups
- Form autofill
- Biometrics login
- Secure and private browsing
Set Up a Guest Wi-Fi Network
Imagine a friend comes over and connects their unprotected device to your home network’s Wi-Fi. Their smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, or any other gadget would become a perfect gateway to your entire IoT system.
Setting up a guest Wi-Fi network is a perfect solution. Let your main home network remain private, and don’t connect to the guest network yourself.
Keep All Software Up-to-Date
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but it really can’t be stated enough. When a device runs on out-of-date software, it’s incredibly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Some updates merely fix system bugs to improve performance, but there are also regular updates that come with security patches. As soon as you install them, you place an extra layer of security to your devices and data.
So, update all your devices’ software as soon as new versions roll out. That way, you’ll secure your mobile data and all your other devices.
Use a VPN
VPNs are the best protection for every device connected to the internet. With a VPN, hackers will ever be able to target you for their criminal gain.
A Virtual Private Network creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet, making it impossible for anyone to intercept your data transmission. It creates a private network connection over a public network.
No one, not even your ISP, can monitor your online activity. They can’t see your real IP address, because your VPN will assign you a fake one.
So, when you use a VPN to connect to the internet, no one will be able to access your devices to steal your personal and sensitive data.
VPN is especially essential if you tend to use public Wi-Fi, which you should never do. Public networks don’t have encryption, which means that hackers could enter any connected device’s system. But when your VPN is on, it will encrypt your connection even over public Wi-Fi.
All these steps and settings may seem like overkill, but they’re not. There are plenty more things you can do to keep your IoT devices safe and secure. But these are the most basic yet the most effective practices for protecting your data against cybersecurity threats.
But remember that they all work best together.
Don’t leave your devices and gadgets vulnerable to threats any longer. Start applying these tips as soon as you can and begin enjoying the convenience of IoT completely stress-free.
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