The Internet of Things is becoming more mainstream these days, as the connectivity of IoT devices makes lives much easier. You can now connect your thermostat, kitchen appliances, lightbulbs, and many other devices to your home network, and access them remotely via phone.
IoT devices are very convenient, but they also bring a great share of risks. The number of IoT attacks is increasing, and they can even be life-threatening.
An attack on IoT medical devices that hospitals are using could potentially harm a big number of patients. Cybercriminals can also gain control of connected cars, and cause multiple road accidents.
But what about your home network? What damage could an IoT attack cause you? Keep reading to find out.
Gaining Control of Your Connected Devices
A cybercriminal could gain access to your entire home network if they get access to a single IoT device you own. They only need one gateway to crawl in and cause some serious damage.
They could spoof communications between your devices, and feed them inaccurate data. Besides, they could disable your devices and prevent you from accessing them again.
Moreover, they could lock you out of your own home, after remotely changing the PIN code to your smart door lock. A hacker could also take control of your connected car and demand ransom to remove the block. These are only some of the numerous cybersecurity risks that come with IoT devices.
Data and Identity Theft
Once a hacker accesses your devices remotely, they could steal your personal and sensitive data, without you even realizing it. They could access your bank accounts and exploit the gathered information for identity theft and fraudulent transactions.
Through a single device, they could discover usernames and passwords for all your devices and accounts. This is thanks to tools that record keystrokes, enabling hackers to see everything you type.
So, even if someone hacks your smart fridge, they could access your entire home network, and steal or misuse your personal and confidential information.
How Can You Stay Safe?
To effectively protect your home from potential IoT attacks, be sure to follow all the steps below.
Secure Your Router
You connect all your IoT devices to the internet through your router, so that’s the first thing to secure. Change its default name, username, and password, because cybercriminals can easily access it otherwise.
Come up with a password that doesn’t contain anything personal that someone would be able to guess in an instant.
Protect IoT Devices with Strong Passwords and 2FA
Strong passwords are paramount for all your IoT devices. Securing only your router with a complex password isn’t nearly enough. You should also use 2FA (two-factor authentication) for all your connected devices, as it adds an extra security layer.
You should also use a password manager to add a layer of security to all your devices. This tool gives you a random master password (which it changes frequently) for all your devices and accounts. If anyone cracks it, it instantly changes all the passwords in its vault, preventing them from gaining access.
Set Up a Guest Network
Setting up a guest network will protect your main home network from unprotected devices. If a friend visits you at home and connects their smartphone, or any other device, to your primary WiFi network, it could compromise all your connected devices. A guest WiFi network will prevent that.
Keep Your IoT Devices Up-to-Date
Installing software updates as soon as developers release them is crucial. Postponing the updates could make your devices vulnerable to IoT attacks.
Hackers are constantly looking for software vulnerabilities to exploit. Official software updates come with security patches and various other improved functionalities, so always keep your devices up-to-date.
Never Use Public WiFi
Public WiFi hotspots usually don’t use encryption, so using them to connect your smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, or any other device, could potentially damage your entire home network.
This is because hackers need access to only one device to get into your entire home network. So, forget about the convenience of public WiFi and think about your online privacy and security first.
Utilize a Reliable VPN
A VPN will solve many of your online privacy and security issues. With the best VPN at your disposal, for example, NordVPN, you don’t have to worry about someone accessing your sensitive data in transfer.
This is because a Virtual Private Network encrypts your connection and hides your IP address. You could safely use public WiFi because no one in the network could snoop on you.
It’s no doubt that the IoT makes our lives better, but it isn’t without its share of challenges. Eliminate potential cybersecurity risks by following all these tips right now. Get your peace of mind and keep all your personal and sensitive data safe and secure.