The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued advice to help individuals keep their information secure when using Internet of Things (IoT) devices last week. Here are five of their top tips.
1. Think about how suitable your device is for its intended purpose
Smart heating devices and apps might help you cut your energy bill by ensuring that your home is only heated when you’re actually there. But how will your heating be affected if your power or WiFi goes down unexpectedly?
2. Make sure IoT devices work on their own isolated networks
Allowing your IoT device to operate only on a private network makes it trickier for an attacker to access devices and related information. By isolating the device, you add a further layer of protection to your information.
3. Change your password
Many users continue to use the default password that comes with the device, or reuse passwords from other accounts. An easy way to make your device more secure is to personalise your password – ‘default’ and ‘123456’ are more commonly used than you may think.
4. Update security patches as often as possible
Once security flaws are disclosed, your devices are vulnerable to attack, making malware easier to install and your information easier to intercept. Patching software as soon as updates are available will mean that you stay as protected as possible.
5. Be aware of your device’s capabilities and limitations
Does your smart fridge sync with and display your Gmail calendar? Can your medical IoT devices connect with services remotely? Does your smart heating app encrypt your data when sending it between devices? Knowing which devices connect with which applications, how and why they do so and how they communicate can help you spot weaknesses and figure out how best to protect your information.
For the full list of IoT security tips, see the FBI’s website.