How Can I Protect Myself?

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They say you shouldn’t pick a photo before writing an article, as the photo will influence the article. I say, great. Look at that photo and take it in. When you’re ready, let’s begin.

In case this blog has frightened you due to our broad look at what could go wrong in tomorrow’s world of IoT-MD, let’s talk about protection. How can one protect themselves in a world where IoT has no regulations and a critical impact on one’s life.

Most IoT devices come with a default password. Change them. Ideally, if you’ll only be using this password to connect from another device and don’t need to remember it, generate a safe password and store it in a good password manager.

If multi-factor authentication (MFA) is available on the device, use it. This is the practice of requiring two (or more) pieces of information based on:

  • Something you are (inherence – fingerprint, iris etc.)
  • Something you have (possession – mobile phone, IP address etc.)
  • Something you know (password, pin etc.)

This increases the security of sensitive settings by a huge factor. Now, it wouldn’t be enough for a potential hacker to just phish your password (this is more common than you think!).

A quick aside, if your device does not allow you to change your password (to a secure one) or enable MFA, you might want to rethink using this device and search for a competitor. In a world where everything is connected, manufactures have to know that customers care about security. And the greatest power a consumer has is their wallet.

Keep the device up to date. Vulnerabilities are always discovered. As much as a device may try to protect itself, if hackers have enough of a desire to get in, they will find a way. Manufacturers will release updates to patch these vulnerabilities. If they have a mailing list for updates, subscribe to it. If they allow automatic updates, enable it.

The above tips may sound obvious to some. Surprisingly, the easiest actions prevent against most attacks. It’s a prime example of the 80/20 rule and your best bet is to make yourself a more difficult target than the next one.

I do personally believe that governments will have to step in and regulate this space. However, until they do, make smart choices. Choose reputable manufacturers and stay safe online.

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