7 Steps to Secure Smart Home and IoT Devices
Internet of Things or IoT refers to devices that are connected to the internet all of which collect and share data. Some examples of IoT devices that you may be familiar with are smart speakers, smart doorbells, thermostats operated by apps and smart toys. Although these devices can make life more comfortable there is ultimately always somebody out there ready to benefit from IoT’s sometimes lack of robust security. A recent study by Hewlett Packard showed that nearly 70% of all IoT devices were found to contain some form of vulnerabilities. Hackers can take advantage of these vulnerabilities to gain access to networks enabling them to monitor users and gain access to other devices using the same network. With this in mind, we have collated some simple security steps to help your devices remain uncompromised by IoT attacks and for you to stay safe while using your favourite IoT tech.
Follow these top tips to secure your Smart Home and IoT devices and protect yourself
Below are some simple steps recommended by the South West Police Regional Cyber Crime Unit that you can follow to help secure your IoT devices and protect yourself.
Before you purchase an IoT product always check the reviews of both the product and the manufacturer. Some devices have been found not to be designed or built with the user’s security in mind. Be confident in what you are purchasing.
Some IoT devices might be insecure by default. Here are some simple steps you can take to help protect yourself:
- Change the default password (many manufacturers list their default passwords on their website which makes them easy pickings for cybercriminals).
- Make sure you choose a secure password. Find out more about creating secure passwords here.
As with your digital devices, installing the latest updates helps keep your IoT devices secure. Ensure that you:
- Switch on automatic updates
- Install any manual updates when prompted
- Make sure your device’s operating system is up to date
By keeping devices on separate networks, if they become compromised, they are limited in the scope of the damage they could potentially do to the rest of your network.
If you are using smart camera, are they recording anything sensitive which could be used for malicious purposes? Are your devices in a location where they could be tampered with? Are you happy with audio devices in certain places?
If you decide to get rid of your devices you must always make sure you perform a factory reset. You can check your manufacturer’s website for guides on how to do this. Always make sure any data is backed up before you perform a factory reset.
What if something goes wrong?
If you think your device has been affected by an incident that has been reported follow these steps:
- Visit the manufacturer’s website for guidance on what you should do
- Check the NCSC, ICO and Action Fraud for further guidance
- If you think your IoT device has been compromised, you should perform a factory reset
- If you believe you have been a victim of cybercrime you should report the incident to Action Fraud
- If required seek additional advice from your IT provider
If you would like extra advice on managing and making the most of the benefits of a connected environment, our friendly tech team is here to help. Simply contact them here and they will be happy to discuss your requirements.
South West Police RCCU Cyber Briefing Email 12 May 2020