How to Stop Your Home From Being Hacked
Billions of new objects are being connected to the internet of things (IoT), and it’s going to change your life.
However, if you are not careful, this change may not be in the positive way that is expected.
As more home devices get connected to the internet, new doors get opened for hackers to potentially access your personal information. Any hacking of this data could have dire consequences to your personal life, career, or financial security.
Today’s infographic from RefiGuide gives context around IoT hacking, including the range of security concerns created by new IoT devices and suggestions on how you can protect yourself.
IOT Hacking Isn’t New
Did you know that former Vice President Dick Cheney had a Wi-Fi enabled pacemaker? His cardiologist disabled this feature in 2007 to ensure that hackers couldn’t control his heartbeat. While this seems like the plot from the TV series Homeland (it was), that doesn’t make it any less possible.
Internet security experts have been warning for years about the dangers of a more connected world. To date, we’ve seen the following examples of IoT hacks:
- Jeep recalled 1.4 million vehicles after it was proven they could be hacked remotely
- Same goes for a Ford (F) Escape, using a physical connection and laptop
- Over 100k IoT devices were used to block traffic to sites such as Twitter (TWTR) and Netflix (NFLX) in a DDoS attack
- Samsung “smart fridges” were found to leave Gmail login credentials vulnerable to hackers
Despite thousands of new IoT devices hitting the market, the fact is that many lack sufficient encryption features. This makes them particularly vulnerable.
Further, connected devices provide multiple entrances for would-be hackers: the device, connected devices, data centers, and communication channels are all possible access points.
How to Protect Yourself
Until manufacturers are able to guarantee that basic cybersecurity measures are in place for new IoT devices, there are a few ways you can protect yourself.
First, make strong passwords for your router and connected devices, and consider disabling them when you are away from home for extended periods of time. Don’t connect devices that you don’t need – consider holding off on your Wi-Fi connected “smart fridge” until it is something you truly need.
Next, create segmented networks at home for your IoT devices, PC and mobile, and guests. Give each of them different tiers of access, such that someone hacking the IoT network will not be able to tap into your personal data.
Lastly, keep your router firmware up-to-date. This is the programming it uses to function, and regularly updating firmware (either automatically or manually) means that it will be less vulnerable to hacks.