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If You Connect It, Protect It - National Cybersecurity Awareness Month #BeCyberSmart

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Over the years, the desire for home automation has been on the rise. Smart home products like smart assistants, doorbells, lighting, thermostats, appliances, security cameras and more are becoming more common in the household. According to Swedish research firm Berg Insights, "63 million American homes will qualify as “smart” by 2021." In building a smart home, home owners are able to increase efficiency, reduce costs, conserve energy and a whole host of other benefits. What’s even more important, home owners must realize that this also increases the risk for potential security concerns.

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By connecting smart home devices to our WiFi network, we can potentially open up our entire network to vulnerabilities. The good news is that by being proactive, you can help secure your smart devices as well as your network. Below, we share some tips on how you can reduce the risks of having IoT devices in your home.

 

  • Do your homework
    Prior to purchasing a new smart device for your home, it’s a good idea to do your research. Things you should research include product reviews, security/privacy concerns, and understanding security features the device has or doesn’t have.

  • Change default usernames and passwords
    Many IoT devices come with default usernames and passwords. When changing passwords, look to use long and unique passphrases. If possible, using multi-factor authentication (MFA) will also help strengthen your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available.

  • Put your IoT devices on a guest WiFi network
    By putting your smart devices on a separate network, it won’t allow an attacker access to your primary devices, such as laptops, in the event a device is compromised.

  • Configure your privacy and security settings
    As soon as you turn on a new smart device, it’s a good idea to configure its privacy and security settings, especially since most devices default to the least secure settings.

  • Disable features you may not need
    IoT devices will often have features you will never need or use. If you come across any features you are certain you won’t need or use, disable them to protect your security and privacy.

  • Keep software up to date
    Anytime a manufacturer makes a software update available, download it immediately. These updates typically include important changes that improve your devices’ performance and security.

 

Do you practice any of the tips shared? What else do you do to make sure your connected devices are protected? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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