There are many buzz words and technical phrases that we use within the tech ecosystem and one of them is “The Internet of Things”. The internet of things is a phrase that describes the web of smart devices that make up our daily lives and personal networks. Things like your smartwatch, your Furbo, your cell phone, and even your smart refrigerator. We have so many amazing technologies that we’ve integrated into our homes, but what does this mean for your internet security? What does it mean for your privacy? Let’s take a look.

Wait, What is the Internet of Things?

The internet of things is a network of smart devices that you use on your person or in your home. Things like the Nest thermostat, connect to wi-fi and allow you to adjust the temperature in your home remotely. The device also keeps track of your habits and helps you create a schedule so that you don’t overspend on your energy bills.

Though these devices are great for making our lives more convenient, they’re also opportunities for hackers to infiltrate your systems and, in turn, your home. That may be enough for most people to toss out their smart devices, but there is no need to. Technology is a wonderful thing; you just have to use it wisely.

The Internet of Things Needs to Be Protected

When you pull your Amazon Alexa out of its box and set it up with your in-home network, you may think the work is done. Your device is ready, right? Well, you can certainly use it, but, if the device isn’t properly protected, then hackers can also use it. There have been horror stories of smart locks failing after bad updates and malicious people listening in through baby monitors. Basically, if you have a device on your network, you have a pathway for a hacker to get in.

To protect your network and the devices within, there are a few things that you should always do when you integrate a new smart device.

Make sure your home network is protected – If you have a home network, then you need to make sure it is password protected at the very least. Keeping your home network secured will ensure that your computer, tablets, phone, and any other devices on it won’t become easy prey for hackers and thieves.

Create a guest network for your IoT devices – On a guest network, you’ll be able to keep any potential threats contained in their own separate space so that they cannot as easily get to your computer.

Secure Your IoT Devices – When you set up an account, make sure that you’re using unique, difficult passwords. Otherwise, it won’t matter how secure your network is. If someone can get your password, they can do all the same things you do.

Use reputable devices – Reputable companies are actively thinking of ways to make their devices safer, so take advantage of their market research and invest in quality products.