Many connected objects have microphones, cameras or integrated location cookies, which broadcast information without our knowledge. That’s why consumers shouldn’t just rely on manufacturers and take the lead to protect their devices.
While a hacker recently published the list of connection identifiers of 500,000 routers and connected objects on an online forum, allowing the takeover of these devices or the installation of malware, it becomes imperative to protect objects connected, of which more than 26 billion are expected this year worldwide. Designed to simplify our daily lives, vigilance is nevertheless required as demonstrated every day by new cyber-attacks, especially when we introduce these devices in our homes.
It is therefore important to have the courage to read the company’s privacy policies and to know what these devices are learning about you and your family. Service providers are becoming more transparent and allow consumers to opt-out of data sharing.
We must all be aware of the protections they offer in this regard. By understanding the solutions they offer, we will know which supplier best meets our needs.
In addition, before offering or acquiring an IoT device, it is also essential to secure our home networks against hackers, in order to protect its data and preserve its confidentiality.
The most common problem, however, is that most users do not necessarily know how to go about it, or simply do not take the time, confident in their manufacturer or that it will not happen to them.
However, some simple practices would alleviate this problem.
First, starting from the premise that you can’t protect what you don’t know, it’s important to know how many devices are connected to the home network. An average home has eight networked devices per person, and that number will continue to grow. For example, parents should pay special attention to their children’s toys that are also connected to the network and many of which have microphones or cameras.
Then never use the default passwords provided with the device. These are very well known and the first thing the cybercriminal will try to do is take control of the object.
Furthermore, it would be wrong to think that it is possible to configure connected objects in mode once and for all ’mode; the fact of being connected to the internet means that they must indeed be updated regularly, benefit from an automatic updating system and multi-factor authentication.
Besides, if the device has a built-in microphone, the user must absolutely take the time to know how it works in order to know how it records and it’s capacity – quantity and duration – to save the recordings.
You should know that any request made to its connected speaker is saved on the internet by its manufacturer. This is why enabling security settings that block voice recording should not be an option.
Finally, as far as possible, two domestic Wi-Fi networks secured by passwords should be created. The first for computers, tablets, and smartphones. The second, for IoT devices, sharing passwords with loved ones, if necessary – without granting access to devices to their contacts.
Security recommendations seem endless, yet the basic rules can drastically reduce the risk of information theft. At a time of all connected, being satisfied with default security is not the procedure to protect your privacy, and it is no longer possible to wait only for action from the manufacturer or specialists in cybersecurity.
As you lock your door when leaving your home, it is imperative to lock access to your connected objects to avoid, precisely, that one enters your home.