We joined the group over at The Big 550 KTRS for our first Tech Talk segment of 2019 last week. Our IT expert, Jeff Groby, headed off to the show filled with what information you need to know about Internet of Things (IoT) and how to secure your connected devices at home. Internet of Things is such a technical topic, Jeff broke things down to an easily consumable level for everyone to enjoy.
What is Internet of Things?
IoT is connecting any device to the internet and other connected devices so they may store, share, and collect data about the way they were used and the environment they are in. Traditionally, IoT is any kind of device that connects with an IP address that isn't a phone, computer, or tablet.
A few examples of IoT products are smart home devices, baby monitors, electronic appliances, and fitness trackers. Think about all the different devices that you use in your daily life that give you the ability to share and collect data. You're more than likely using multiple IoT devices each day without even paying it any mind.
As technology continues to change, so will the abilities of IoT products. The technology available to us now is changing our lifestyles, how we secure our homes, healthcare, and much more. If the past is any sign, the future of technology will involve products with IoT capabilities to improve efficiency and modern convenience.
How Secure are IoT Products?
Internet of Things products are only as secure as you set them up to be. Following the step-by-step instructions on how to secure your new device will help to protect you in the long run. There are billions of IoT devices connected at this very second and there is a very good chance you have a handful of them in your home. Similar to any other technology products that you purchase, it's important to set up the proper layers of security to protect yourself.
The popularity of internet-connected products continues to grow, which is making them hot targets for cyber criminals. Understanding the privacy and security policies in place for your technology is your best line of defense in being a critical consumer. These are a few steps you can take to ensure the safety of the connected devices in your home:
- Give your router a name. Don't make it anything too obvious, but give it a name other than what the manufacturer has named the device.
- Set up a strong password for your Wi-Fi connection. No matter how obscure the password is that your router came with, change it up. Setting up a secure password will only add to your security in the end.
- Update your device's software whenever newer versions become available. Manufacturers will create patches to fix security flaws to help add to the safety of your device.
- Check your device for features you may not use and disable them. There are some features that may not enhance your user experience, but still could be transmitting data about you.
- Be aware of which devices you own that are connected to the internet. Understanding which devices you already have working in your home will help when the time comes for security updates or to update the technology completely.
Tech Talk Presented by SumnerOne
Every Friday afternoon one of our IT Experts join the Guy Phillips Show to shed light on different topics in cyber security and technology. Be sure to tune in to The Big 550 KTRS this Friday afternoon at 4:20 to learn more about purchasing refurbished technology. To learn more about SumnerOne, give us a call.
Originally published January 10, 2019, updated February 11, 2019