Connected Devices Must Be Protected Devices

Apr 1, 2020Blog

Internet of Things (IoT) smart device security is a must and we protect our connected devices and home network as we cannot afford to ignore it any longer.

There are massive amounts of IoT connected devices entering our homes every day. In fact, at this point, about one-third of American homes are smart homes. By 2023, that number is projected to increase to half of all homes in America.

This means that half of all of the smart homes in America are going to be vulnerable if IoT security isn’t a priority.

In order to get that fast, reliable (and secure) WiFi everyone is after, online security must come first. We need full network protection. Why? Because a protected network helps secure connected devices which reduces the risk of cyber-attacks, poor signal WiFi and more.

The risk of unprotected connected devices

The risk of not protecting your connected devices is allowing cybercriminals into your home through various channels. Once they are in, they can move fast, communicating between all of the connect devices in your home. Which means, once they are in, they have access to anything: personal information like your bank account and credit cards or access to other personal devices. 

What manufacturers can do to protect your connected devices:

We live in a world where if a task is time consuming or challenging, we are unlikely to do it. We are busy people.

Specifically speaking, if securing all of the connected devices on your network is hard to do, are you going to spend time doing it? While you should, the answer is no, probably not.

That is why there is a big opportunity for WiFi and IoT device manufacturers to make IoT security simple to do. It can all start with the router, since it is the device that is central to your entire home WiFi network.

Router manufacturers can work to deliver premium WiFi and premium security in one device (ideally, right out of the box).

But we do not live in a perfect world, which means that you have to do the work to make sure your smart home is locked down. Here’s what you can do:

What you can do to protect your connected devices:

Leave no device unprotected. Smart homes are ecosystems, and everything is interconnected once it connects to your network. All it takes is one non-secured IoT device for hackers to break in.

Here is a list of things you should do to keep hackers out:

  • Buy secure devices – From the start, invest in devices that are reputable. These devices will be more secure out of the box (but will still need you help).
  • Make your router bulletproof – You can do this by securing it with a strong username and password, update it as often as possible, close unused ports, enabling the firewall, and enabling your device’s firewall
  • Take inventory of all of your devices – You need to know all of the devices that are connecting to your network and your guest network. This way, if unknown devices connected, you can block or remove them immediately.
  • Separate your IoT connected devices onto a separate network – The best way to make sure that your connected devices aren’t affecting your other personal devices is to separate them. You can set up a second network (like a guest network) that is dedicated only to your IoT devices. This way, if they were hacked, your other devices won’t be affected.
  • Strong usernames and passwords – The username and password that you get with your device right out of the box or from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is not secure. It is a general, default name/password and the cyber criminals know how to identify them and guess them. Don’t let this happen to you. It only takes a few minutes to reset the usernames and passwords to something unique and strong.
  • Update, update, update – Your devices have regular updates rolling out for a reason. Make sure to accept them and do them to keep your device safe.
  • Check your privacy settings – Your privacy settings allow you to customize how you use the devices. If your connected device has connected features that you don’t need to use, turn them off.

If all of this feels like too much to keep track of, set up a WiFi management solution like Optim. Optim takes the guess work out of managing your home network. Optim is ready to optimize your networks’ performance and secure it right away.

Protecting your connected devices is a must and it’s not as hard to do as it might seem. Awareness is the first step. For more information on WiFi and smart device security, check into Actiontec’s Industry Articles and Actiontec’s blog.

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