It’s week 4 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), which is all about Your Evolving Digital Life. This week we’ll highlight where we were, where we are today and how we can keep our digital lives safer and more secure with emerging technology.
We’re transitioning from an Internet of connected individuals to an Internet in which everything and everyone is connected, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT). As technology advances, more “things” become connected, and the Internet of Things has expanded to include vehicles, cameras, security systems, street lighting, health and wellness equipment and much more. Additionally, our homes are becoming “smart homes”: according to a new NCSA-ESET survey, 67 percent of households have between 1 and 5 home devices connected to the Internet, and more than 1 in 5 households use mobile devices or apps to remotely access or control devices in the home.
This vast ecosystem of connected devices and the ability to control them remotely help make our lives more convenient and efficient than ever before, but the Internet of Things also poses security challenges. Navigating the world of IoT starts with STOP. THINK. CONNECT.. Make sure connected devices have security precautions, think about the consequences of the data being shared and then connect a device to the Internet with more peace of mind.
Keep Clean Machines:
- Understand how you keep IoT devices up to date, including any software updates that might be needed and passwords or other ways of securing devices.
- Keep your mobile phone and apps up to date: Many IoT devices are controlled via smartphones or tablets. Keeping your phone and associated apps up to date is an important security step.
- Pay attention the Wi-Fi router in your home – it is the main way home IoT devices connect to the Internet. Use a strong password to protect your router, and name the device in a way that won’t let people know it’s your house. Keep router software up to date by checking with the manufacturer or with your Internet service provider (ISP) to see if the software is updated automatically.
Own Your Online Presence:
- Understand what’s being collected: The functionality of most IoT devices requires collecting data. Take the time to understand what information your connected devices collect and how that information is managed and used.
- Where does your data go: Many IoT devices will send information to be stored in the cloud. Understand where your data will reside and the security protecting your personal information.
- Do your research: Before adopting a new smart device, research it to make sure others have had positive experiences with the device from a security and privacy perspective.
Check out the infographic we created to explain the Internet of Things here.
NCSA has some exciting plans for this week; tune in this afternoon to your favorite financial news channel – and follow the #CyberAware hashtag! – to watch us ring the Nasdaq closing bell in support of NCSAM. Additionally, @STOPTHNKCONNECT will host a Twitter chat, “Cybersecurity & the Evolving Internet of Things,” on Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT. Use #ChatSTC to join!
We hope that you will join us in supporting safer, more secure digital lives for everyone as we become more connected with emerging technologies.