Smart devices are everywhere these days and it’s likely that you own several (Amazon Alexa, Nest, Google Home, just to name a few). Like all internet-connected technology, smart devices are vulnerable to being hacked, so steps should be taken to secure them. Here are some simple steps:
Setup Passwords: Many smart devices come with a default password or passcode. When first setting up and configuring your new smart device always assign it a new, unique and strong password or passcode. That way, if one of your devices is compromised, the rest remain safe.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): When available, enable MFA. MFA requires more than just your username and password to access your account. You may need to provide a code that is texted to you. MFA can also be something physical like your fingerprint. Another approach to MFA is an authenticator app like Google Authenticator.
Turn Off Unused Features: Smart devices have many features that are running by default in the background. Review your device’s features and settings and disable or adjust to eliminate anything that is not needed.
Keep Apps Updated: Most app developers provide updates to patch or fix vulnerabilities, flaws, and weaknesses in their apps. Intruders can exploit these vulnerabilities to attack your Smart Device. Keeping apps updated helps prevent these types of intrusions. Many apps have options for automatic updates. Enable automatic updates if they are offered.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): VPN apps are available for most Smart Devices that connect to networks. A VPN will encrypt information, keeping your smart devices and their data secure.
Use Public Wi-Fi Sparingly: If you connect your Smart Device to public Wi-Fi networks like those found at airports, coffee shops or shopping malls, be aware that many of these networks are not secure and can expose your devices to threats. Connection to these networks should only be used when necessary.