As National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) enters Week 4, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and our partners in industry, government and the nonprofit sector are focusing on our rapidly evolving connected world.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, everything and everyone will be connected – from home appliances to fitness trackers to our cars, among many other devices. These connections will provide convenience and improved efficiency in a variety of ways. However, IoT devices’ functionality comes from the data they collect about you. For example, a thermostat will learn your habits of when you come and go and what temperatures are in your comfort zone. It’s important to think about the personal information you are providing to the devices you have now and the ones you might adopt in the future and how that information is collected, managed and stored.
That’s why we say that it’s not IoT – it’s the Internet of Me.
This NCSAM – and year-round – remember that when it comes to IoT devices, STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ still applies. Understand and implement security precautions for all devices, know the data being collected and any consequences if it’s lost and decide whether you want to connect the device. These tips can help you in the world of IoT.
- Learn how to maintain the cybersecurity of your IoT devices: Protecting smart devices like wearables and connected appliances might be different than securing your computer or smartphone; research the process for keeping IoT devices secure before you purchase them and take measures to safeguard your devices over time.
- Pay attention to the WiFi router in your home: Routers are likely the access points for many IoT devices to the internet. Use a strong password to protect your router, keep it up to date and name it in a way that won’t let people know it’s in your house.
- Keep clean machines: Many IoT devices connect through mobile device apps. Keep them up to date. You may need to update the software on your mobile device as well to keep it secure.
- Own your online presence: Understand what information your devices collect and how it’s managed and stored. Additionally, before adopting a new smart device, do your research to make sure others have had positive experiences from a security and privacy perspective.
- Lock down your login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
Learn more about navigating your continuously connected live with NCSA’s new infographic. Download and share it on social media using the hashtag #CyberAware! You can also check out our video overview of NCSAM Week 4 here.
This week we’re also partnering with ESET on the release of the study “Our Increasingly Connected Lives,” which looks at Americans’ perceptions of IoT technology. The survey reveals that half of consumers have been discouraged from purchasing IoT devices due to concerns about IoT devices. The survey and accompanying infographic can be found here.
We have many exciting things coming up this week, and we hope you’ll join us! Today we’re hosting a keystone event at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City, which will bring together key industry influencers and discuss the exciting opportunities presented by our ever-growing, cutting-edge world and how to secure our rapidly expanding ecosystem and build a future of security through modernization and trust. Follow NCSA on Facebook and the #CyberAware hashtag for updates and to chime in on social media. Here are a few additional ways to participate online and in the community:
- Get involved on social media. Use the #CyberAware hashtag in your posts, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and download our sample social media content to share before and during the month.
- Become a NCSAM Champion. Register yourself and/or your organization as a Champion to take action in support of NCSAM and receive materials you can use to spread the word. It’s easy and free to sign up.
- Join our #ChatSTC Twitter chat. Each week, @STOPTHNKCONNECT will host a discussion on a different online safety topic. This Thursday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT, we’ll discuss how you can use IoT technology more safely and securely. Use #ChatSTC to join!