Are you living in a ‘smart home’ where you have numerous internet-connected and computing devices for an easy living? Well, all of your IP cameras, speakers, refrigerators, and doorbells are embedded with electronics and software which are coined with a term called the Internet of Things(IoT).
IoT is continuously making progress to our homes and as more IoT devices are getting released on a regular basis, it can help to track our daily activities by collecting loads of personal information. We are also integrating our IoT devices with the upcoming automated driving systems where all of these may sound fancy but adds a bunch of security challenges and risks. With the digital advancements, the online threats are also increased up to the extent and the people are tired of hearing about the phishing, ransomware, and other similar attacks. It is out of our imagination to think about how much of our data gets hacked and how it will be misused. Also, your regular mobile phone or a microphone can be a bad dream when it comes to IoT hijacking.
In this article, we will be looking at some hacks to secure your IoT devices from the malware attacks and keep your information squeezy safe.
Have a look at its Safety Standard before purchasing any IoT device
It may sound unrealistic but it is mandatory for any user to check the security standard before purchasing any IoT devices be it smartphones accessories, earphones, gaming consoles or any other minimal gadgets. There is a misconception among the people of considering these devices as harmless stuff that does not go wrong anyway. But here you need to know that when any device is connected to the network, it is probably attached to the internet threats.
Before making a purchase of ay IoT device be it huge or small, cheap or expensive, one should never forget to check the safety, security, and reputability of the device and what are the benefits of it. You need to look at whether the device is compliant with TLS/SSL and encryption standards? Are there built-in PKI managed services? Is the device following any Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF) standard protocol? Well, so next time, you think to buy a new device make sure to answer all these questions to ensure higher safety.
Lock your Gadgets with the Protected Passcodes
Many times people make mistake by setting a very simple password that becomes easy to predict and hack in a moment. When any device asks for the password, normal users put ‘ Passcode123’ for an easy to remember and relaxing one but it can possess critical dangers to your device. It makes no sense in making a password for an easy to remember catchphrase because that can lead to serious threats. It is recommended to make use of the combined letters, symbols and numbers to get a strong password. Also, ensure a regular password change and not become more comfortable with the default passwords. It might happen that the manufacturers have set a common password for your device for an easy configuration but you are required to change it just after the installation. It is noted to not use the same password for variant accounts as it might increases the chances of threats.
Try to Plunge on a Different Network
Loads of people are purchasing smart kitchen appliances these days as it is also a part of the Internet of Things. Moreover, these devices are constantly in access to the network and allow the hackers to make a leap from one particular device to any of your personal devices and steal all of your private information. Therefore, it is always recommended to keep all of your IoT devices on various networks. For instance – you can set up multiple networks using your Wi-Fi router which is not that tough and it will become harder for the hackers to access your private data and thus remains safe.
l Disconnect your UPnP ASAP
The Universal Plug and Play(UPnP) may not be a useless option but it’s better to turn it off whenever possible. The UPnP protocol helps the devices to open the ports automatically and connect to the outside network by building tests. This does not only slows down the router response time but it also makes your network vulnerable to different attacks. The cybercriminals are using UPnP flaws for multiple times that cause the damage. Therefore, it is still considered as one of the most unsecured gateways in order to access the internet network.
l Check for the Regular Firmware Updates
The advice of regular updates is considered so cliche that we hear it from all but still ignore it the most. Manufacturers are releasing firmware updates and security patches for making the system more secure by fixing the potential vulnerabilities. Thereby, keeping the firmware up-to-date is equally vital. By using the auto-updater option, you can update your firmware for the IoT devices. If it is not available then you need to download and install the update either from the manufacturer’s website or any other authentic sources. It is better to not just Google and goes to a random website for updates.
It’s a Wrap
Here, we come to the end of the article. We hope you have got a few tricks to secure your IoT devices from the cybercriminals who are continuously looking for new ways to invade your data and misuse them. Ensure high safety standards and follow some basic security measures in order to stay up-to-date. Till then – keep learning!
Note: This is a guest blog by Stephanie Donahole, Business Analyst, Tatvasoft Australia