The Nerd Side Of Life

7 Tips to Enhance IoT Security of Your Smart Devices

With the rapid advancement in technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) has improved a lot. Now devices communicate with each other using the internet without any human intervention. The connection of your smartphone with a Wi-Fi router, the security cameras and alarms connected to the Wi-Fi system, the automated lighting system, and so on are all examples of the IoT. 

People use IoT in their daily lives because it has made their job a lot easier than it was before. However, with the advancement of technology and science, the risks have increased too. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to infiltrate your privacy and steal your data for their personal gains. If your smart devices are not secure, you can take the following steps to ensure that they are.

Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

#1. Name Your Router

Since everything is connected through the internet itself, the first thing you can do is make sure that you rename your Wi-Fi router. Keeping the manufacturer given name or model number is not a smart move because it is easy to identify and hack into. Be sure to give your router a unique name as I did with my Spectrum Internet router. The name should not include any personal identification information such as house number or street address.

#2. Encrypt Your Network 

The next thing to consider is the encryption of your internet connection. You can do this by accessing the router’s settings while setting it up. Make sure to choose a strong method of encryption such as WAP2. This allows your Wi-Fi connection to secure all communications.  

#3. Setup Multi-Step Verifications

Authentication methods have also improved over time. Now, a two-factor or two-step authentication is more commonly used for keeping accounts and several devices secure. This type of additional security basically sends a one-time password or code to your smartphone via a text message and/or email. This allows you to be vigilant and know if anyone tries to hack into your accounts.

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#4. Create a Separate Guest Network

You have the power to secure your network by going one step further and creating a guest network. This allows you to separate your private Wi-Fi network from the one that can be used by your guests, friend, or relatives that come to visit your home. Doing this will also allow you to keep your IoT devices and their network safe from outsiders and intruders.

#5. Regularly Update Software 

It is important to regularly update your software as soon as the updates are made available. Not updating your IoT devices puts them at security risk because updates often bring security patches for existing flaws. Security of your smart devices is important because devices used for home security such as Wi-Fi, cameras, smoke detectors, automated lights, and so on become comprised if not updated. Most of the time, the updates are sent by the IoT manufacturers. However, in some cases, the updates are only made available through official websites.

#6. Have a Strong Password

Changing your default device password and setting up a strong one is very important when it comes to the security of the IoT devices. Most people make the mistake of not changing the default password given by the manufacturers because they think it is unique to their device. That is not the case. Default passwords for devices are often public information. Cybercriminals may get these passwords online and use this information to get access to your IoT devices. 

Since all smart security devices are connected through the internet, it becomes the most common point of attack for any hacker. If you do not change the default password of your Wi-Fi router, you are leaving it susceptible to cyberattacks. Once I found out about this, I immediately called the Spectrum cable phone number to ask for my router’s default password and replaced it with a unique one. While changing the password, always make sure that the new one is stronger. A password is strong if it is complex and unique. You can create a strong password by adding a capital letter, a number, and a symbol with at least 8 characters in total.

#7. Review Settings of Your Devices Periodically

As discussed above, all IoT devices come with default security and privacy settings. It is best to review and customize these settings while setting up the devices for the first time. In addition, you must regularly review these settings to check for updates and new available security features that may arrive with the updates.

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