How to Secure Your internet of Things at Home?


Chandramouli Srinivasan

Why You Need to Secure the Internet of Things?

The hottest new trend on the Internet isn’t a new social network or app. It’s things. Dubbed “The Internet of Things” it refers to any object you can connect to with the Internet. These “things” include an array of devices and even systems. The Internet of Things promises to connect more devices than ever before. The Internet of Things can make your home more secure with a security system, but it can also open you up to identity theft and other cybercrimes. Any time you get a new piece of technology on the Internet of Things, you’re taking new chances with your online security.

There are a number of ways that criminals can leverage the Internet of Things to infiltrate your home. Skilled hackers could use your home’s power signature to figure out the best time for a burglary. If your car gets hacked, you could have identity thieves spying on everywhere you go and everything that you do. Webcams have been hacked on laptops, allowing criminals access to your most intimate moments. Even if there’s no property crimes or violent crimes committed, you don’t want to be violated in this way.

How to Secure Your Home in the Age of the Internet of Things?

Operational aspects of internet of things can be secured using the following techniques

  1. Secure your home wireless network. Remember that almost all of these devices will run off of your wireless network. Hence secure the connection the home router. Use WPA2 type security configuration in the router and make the WPA2 stronger. Using VPN & Encryption are additional layers of security. However, this needs sophisticated knowledge to setup and operate.
  2. Use several emails. If, for example, you have an email for your connected pill bottle, and another for your connected car, you’re not as vulnerable as someone who has all of their information associated with one account linked across several devices.
  3. Always update the firmware on your connected devices. This is as important as updating the operating system and Internet security suite on your computer and mobile devices. When hackers start to attack the Internet of Things, they’re almost always going to use known exploits to do it, the kind that are patched when firmware updates.
  4. Remember that your main laptop computer is part of your overall connection to the Internet of Things. So make sure to update your operating system and Internet security suite, as well as all the apps on your laptop.

In addition to this basics of security needs to be adhered at all times to prevent any hacks into any system that’s connected to internet.

  1. Secure Passwords: The keys to our digital kingdom, passwords should be closely protected. A lot of the times, that’s all a cybercriminal needs to gain access to your account.
  2. Malware: Malware, malware, malware! You hear that term everywhere, however, it can mean so many different things. Malware is more of an umbrella term used for any kind of malicious software on the Internet landscape- from annoying adware to devastating ransomware.
  3. Privacy: If this isn’t an issue for you, it should be. A lot of people take the stance of “I don’t do anything wrong, therefore I have nothing to hide.” however that is largely misinterpreted. You have everything to hide.
  4. Data Breaches: Data breaches are why we should care about our privacy. Scammers and criminals target companies in order to obtain as much data as possible about an individual, which in turn helps them commit identity theft or collect a hefty sum on the black market for the data.
  5. Safe Computing: A lot of the threats today you can combat yourself, just armed with a little bit of knowledge. Internet security software is an essential piece of the cyber security pie, however, it can’t protect you form every single threat out there.
  6. Online Scams: Scammers are the bottom of the barrel of Internet criminals. Online scams take hardly any technical skills to execute, yet so many people fall for them. You can find online scams everywhere today, from social media platforms to our private email accounts.
  7. Mobile Protection: There are just as many threats on the mobile landscape as there are with computers. With the popularity of smartphones and tablets on the rise, they are becoming more of a target to cybercriminals. Since we’re starting to use our smaller devices as we would a desktop or laptop computer, more of our personal data is stored on these devices and thieves are taking notice.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

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