Our smartphones, gadgets, home accessories, and even cars all communicate with one another, simplifying and connecting our lives.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is packed full of useful, time-saving features, and our world wouldn’t be the same without them. By 2023, 25.44 billion IoT devices are expected to be in existence.
While this expansive connection is convenient, as with anything, it has its downfalls, too. Let’s talk about safety and explore these seven considerations in the IoT world.
1. Privacy Concerns
The single largest IoT revenue segment was consumer media and internet devices ($101.8 billion), followed by connected vehicles ($73.8 billion) and payment terminals ($39.4 billion).
With all these devices becoming more aware of our habits, we have to consider the amount of personal data that they are gathering. For instance, our smart fridge already knows what we eat regularly, and our cars know all our most visited locations. Convenient? Yes. Safe? Well… that’s up to you.
Once cybercriminals get their hands on this information, danger awaits. Hackers are always looking for ways to steal your sensitive data.
Regularly check your privacy settings and take advantage of devices with strong security measures.
2. Access Details
Just as you wouldn’t want just anyone entering your home unannounced, you need to restrict access to all your connections.
Yes, even the smart thermostat and the lighting. Remember, all these devices are intertwined, and any weak links could harm your entire web of connectivity.
Don’t be an easy target for cyber attack;
- Use strong, difficult-to-guess passwords.
- Change default passcodes.
- Regularly update and strengthen passwords for all IoT devices.
- Customize settings to enhance security.
- Enable two-factor authentication.
- Download a VPN to hide your online activity.
3. Software Updates
Firmware is the one working behind the scenes, ensuring all your IoT devices are functioning properly.
Outdated or unprotected firmware puts your devices at an increased risk. Updating your device every time the manufacturers release patches is the best thing you can do to avoid vulnerabilities.
When bypassing these updates, you’re essentially opening the door for unauthorized access, data breaches, and more. On top of that, you should opt to purchase from reputable manufacturers that are committed to cybersecurity.
Devices from companies that employ a proactive defense against evolving threats will naturally be better protected.
4. Network Security
Your home is the hub for all your tech toys. Keep the door to your connection locked and guard it as if it were your physical house.
Leaving your network unprotected is an open-door invitation for unwanted guests. Keep intruders away by:
- Strengthening your network security.
- Using strong passwords.
- Enabling WPA3 encryption.
- Keeping your devices separate.
5. Tamper Protection
While the IoT world focuses on the digital landscape, don’t forget to protect your devices from equally harmful physical tampering.
Having a security system that alerts you of unauthorized access or shuts down your devices when under attack is good practice.
Also, remember to store your devices securely, especially when leaving them behind, for peace of mind.
6. Security Issues
Not all IoT devices are created equal, and the same goes for their safety measures. Always choose devices from trustworthy brands that prioritize security.
Consider the following:
- Reputable Brands: Prioritize manufacturers that take pride in their security standards.
- Research: Check customer reviews and search for expert opinions.
- Regular Updates: Consider devices with frequent patches that address vulnerabilities.
7. DDoS Attacks
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can turn your smart home dream into a nightmare.
Two out of every 100 network-layer DDoS attacks exceeded 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) and continued for over an hour. Do the math.
In these attacks, cybercriminals overload your network, rendering it useless. Avoid this catastrophe in your IoT by:
- Protecting yourself with a good firewall.
- Updating your devices regularly.
- Using systems that detect and stop potential DDoS threats.
Another consideration worth mentioning is the implementation of network traffic monitoring tools. These tools were designed to rapidly identify unusual patterns indicative of a potential DDoS attack.
Collaborate with your internet service provider to create a resilient smart home that can provide you with peace of mind.
Both tech pros and newcomers alike can benefit from understanding these considerations when it comes to the vast world of connectivity.
As we continue on our journey in this era of IoT, we have to keep a heightened sense of awareness.
By being proactive, securing our devices, staying up-to-date on potential risks, and making wise choices, we begin building a safe space to enjoy our tech toys.
Continue learning, growing, researching, and connecting; just remember to put your safety first!