In our never-ending effort to keep our community informed of the best practices is identity theft protection, this week we adapt a recent post from the “Stop. Think. Connect.” blog posted by the Department Of Homeland Security. The post explains how important it is that we recognize that we now live in a “smart world,” where the Internet touches all aspects of our daily lives. We have wearables that track our eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. We utilize devices that provide us with a quicker route on a summer road trip. We own mechanisms that allow us to preheat our oven or adjust our thermostat on our way home from work before we even walk through the door. These types of devices are all part of our new, more connected world – commonly referred to as the Internet of Things.
The Internet of Things includes objects or devices that send or receive data automatically via the Internet. As more devices and objects become connected to the Internet – from phones and tablets to homes, vehicles, and medical devices – it is important to realize that the security of these devices is not always guaranteed.
Why does it matter?
- 1.8 billion: the number of smartphone users*
- 50 billion: the number of connected devices expected by 2020 (that’s 1 person to every 7 devices)*
- $5 trillion: the amount the IoT market is expected to grow over the next 6 years*
Though this technology brings many conveniences to our lives, it also requires that we share more information than ever. Here are three simple steps to take to secure the devices that hold your valuable personal information.
- Keep a clean machine. Just like your smartphone or laptop, keep any device that connects to the Internet free from viruses and malware. Update the software regularly on the device itself as well as the mobile applications you use to control the device.
- Think twice about your device. Have a solid understanding of how a device works, the nature of its connection to the Internet, and the type of information it stores and transmits.
- Secure your network. Properly secure the wireless network you use to connect Internet-enabled devices.
For more information and tips on identity theft protection, please visit www.hvshred.com
*National Cyber Security Alliance Internet of Things Infographic