Just a few months ago the world witnessed a new online threat capable of taking down internet giants like Twitter and Netflix. The source of the attacks were unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) devices that were under the control of the Mirai malware. Some devices targeted by the malware included routers, TVs, and IP Cameras that were connected to the internet and had either no or weak security. The FTC has put together some best practices on how to protect your devices.
- Don’t just click “next” when you set up your IoT device.Review the default settings carefully before making a selection, and use the security features for your device. If it allows you to set up a passcode lockout (“three strikes and you’re out”) and enable encryption, you can add a layer of protection to your device.
- Download the latest security updates for your IoT device. To be secure and effective, the software that comes with your device needs updates. Before you set up a new device, and periodically afterwards, visit the manufacturer’s website or the device’s settings menu to see if there’s a new version of the software available for download. To make sure you hear about the latest version, register your device with the manufacturer and sign up to get updates.
- Change your pre-set passwords. The manufacturer may have assigned your device a standard default password. Hackers know the default passwords, so change it to something more complex and secure.
With the holiday season upon us, lets take a few extra minutes in setting up those new devices so that we can all enjoy binging Netflix or reading tweets from our Samsung fridge.