How To Keep Your 'Internet Of Things Connected Family' Safe [INFOGRAPHIC]

The internet of things (IoT) was sent to make our lives easier, but that has not exactly turned out to be the case. Though manufacturers are churning out IoT connected devices at an even greater pace than before, still most people aren’t aware of the known dangers of using such devices. This has led to DDoS attacks and countless other security issues, despite clear warnings from security experts and the FBI. In today’s families the points of entry can number in the dozens, and each member of the family faces unique challenges to keeping the home network secure. Smart devices can be useful when used properly, and security precautions should be on the top of the wish list.

The Average Family Has Multiple Points Of Entry

There is no one in the typical connected family who is safe from hackers, not even pets and babies. Internet connected treat dispensers and pet cameras help keep tabs on our furry friends when we are far from home, but they can be used to spy on our families or as points of entry into our home networks. Baby monitors these days usually have WiFi connected cameras, which is great for parents but can be detrimental to home security. Children’s toys can be used to record family conversations, and teenagers have access to smartphones they don’t yet understand how to use properly. Even wearable fitness trackers can compromise your most personal information.
Also Read: How The Internet Of Things Could Be Putting Your Home At Risk
But it’s not just the personal devices that are a problem. Many families are opting for surveillance and convenience features in their homes that range from doorbell cameras all the way to connected refrigerators. The appeal of these devices is that you can see if you are out of milk before you leave work and pick some up on the way home, or you can see who is at your door and ask them to go away if you don’t want to let them in without ever opening the door. What’s even more scary is that connected door locks, garage door openers, security cameras, and even robotic vacuum cleaners can be used to gather data about when you come and go, your floor plan, and more in order to make thieves’ criminal pursuits even easier to pull off.

You Don’t Have To Give Up Your Devices To Stay Safe

It may seem that drastic measures are in order in light of all the ways you may be exposing your family to risk, but a few simple steps can help ensure your family stays safe. It’s important to note first and foremost that manufacturers of these devices are lauding their ease of use over promoting their safe use, but the latter is the most important consideration to make. Whenever possible choose devices that have a clear and proven track record of security.

When you set up your home network, it is important to take reasonable precautions to prevent exposing points of entry to would-be hackers. These eight steps are the bare minimum:
  • Educate your family about social engineering attacks and what information is ok to give to strangers
  • Update the software and firmware on your devices and routers routinely
  • Use two-factor authentication whenever possible
  • Create a separate network for guests
  • Turn off any unnecessary access features
  • Change default usernames and passwords immediately
  • Reset your router on a regular basis
  • Give your router an unusual - or funny - name
You don’t have to completely give up convenience and gadgets to keep your family safe. Arm yourself with knowledge about the risks and respond appropriately. Learn more about keeping your IoT connected family safe from this infographic!

The internet of things is marketed to us as a way to make life easier, but security concerns can affect the whole family. This infographic outlines the many points of entry for a typical connected family as well as tips for stopping hackers in their tracks.
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