You’ve likely heard the phrase “Internet of Things” or IoT and at some point, but you might asking yourself what it is and what it means.
The IoT refers to the connection of devices (other than computers and smartphones) to the Internet. Cars, home appliances, and wearables can all be connected to the Internet.
Wearable electronics that we wear have the potential to transform the way we live. Devices from Fitbit and its peer companies allow people to track their health and exercise progress in previously impossible ways.As devices become more connected thanks to the IoT, security and privacy have become the primary concern among people.
Cyber-attacks are also a growing threat as more connected devices pop up. Hackers could penetrate connected cars, critical infrastructure, and even people’s homes.
So how can you protect yourself in this brave new world of the Internet of Things?
- Don’t store personal identifying information on any device. Don’t even use your real name.
- Use a unique and complex password for all of your devices so that if one is hacked, all of your devices are not jeopardized.
- Read the fine print and find out what information is gathered and stored by your devices as well as how that information is used by the manufacturer.
- Your smartphone is the entrance to your car’s connectivity. Keep your smartphone protected with a strong and unique password as well as anti-virus and anti-malware security software.
- Change the default usernames and passwords on all of your home network devices.
- Use and update anti-virus and anti-malware software on your home computer network.
As scary as the Internet of Things may appear, with better efforts to provide security and privacy by companies making these devices and by all of us taking better precautions, the Internet of Things can be made much safer.
You’re a victim of cybercrime now what.
These days it hard for many to imagine or remember what life was like when we didn’t rely upon the Internet so much. The Internet has completely changed how we communicate and interact with society for better or worst. It also has leaded to our personal, financial, and business information to be more vulnerable to malicious threats. We are under constant and increasing attacks every day from these threats. We hear about how to protect ourselves from these threats. But what do you do when not if you became a victim of identity theft.
If you find you are the victim of online fraud or identity theft, the first thing you should do is close all affected accounts immediately. Closing or freezing your accounts can save you a lot of time and stress later when it comes to disputing fraudulent purchases made by a cybercriminal. Monitor your credit and bank statements each month for any unauthorized transactions.
You should set up fraud alert with all three consumer reporting agencies not just one. This is will tell creditors to contact you about any changes or new accounts to be opened in your name. Also you need to contact your banking institution to setup any fraud prevention services they may have. Many banks these days allow their customers to setup spending alerts to notify you of any transactions on your accounts.
Next you need to keep an eye on your credit report from each of the reporting agencies as they have different information. A good way of doing this is to use Mint or Credit Karma because they are free service that will help you keep track of changes with your credit.
For more information about the steps to take and for credit reports, contact:
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 or www.equifax.com
Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com
Transunion: 1-800-680-7289 or www.transunion.com