Internet of things (IoT)

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?

  1. Don’t store personal identifying information on any device. Don’t even use your real name.
  2. Use a unique and complex password for all of your devices so that if one is hacked, all of your devices are not jeopardized.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Change the default usernames and passwords on all of your home network devices.
  6. 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.