“Internet of things” is a term we hear a lot. But do we understand what it really means?
The internet of things consists of a number of smart devices connected to each other using the internet. These devices could be any smart devices ranging from a remotely controlled thermostat to your television. These devices are designed to send and receive information automatically once the initial setup has been completed.
Technology of this kind has gained popularity in the last few years and is often associated with convenience and even cost effectiveness. Cyber criminals have identified this trend and turned their attention towards these ‘smart’ devices. In December 2013, a cyber-attack was discovered involving more than 750,000 malicious emails sent by about 100,000 everyday gadgets. One of these gadgets used to send out these emails also involved a refrigerator. As you can see, any device can be used cyber criminals to launch cyber-attacks, even your refrigerator!
Now that you understand the dangers associated with using these smart devices, here are a few simple things to remember to keep your devices safe from cyber criminals:
- Always ensure your passwords are as strong as can be. Follow the guidelines for establishing strong passwords. These guidelines will help you create a strong and unique password making it difficult for cyber criminals to access your devices.
- Keep your router as well as all other devices updated to ensure that they have the latest security features at all times.
- Try your best to keep sensitive information like personal pictures, financial and health information, the whereabouts of your family etc. off the internet as much as possible. No matter how secure your network is, any information being transmitted using Wi-Fi is vulnerable to being stolen.
- Do not mention details like your address, name or phone number while setting up your network name.
Keeping the above-mentioned points in mind will help keep your devices safe and give you the best chance of protecting your devices from cyber-attacks.