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Internet-connected devices are helping homeowners increase efficiency, reduce costs, conserve energy and a whole host of other benefits.
However, with all of these benefits come risks to privacy and security. We recommend consumers connect with caution, and take steps to secure these devices.
Do your homework
Before purchasing a new smart device, do your research. Check out user reviews on the product, look it up to see if there have been any security/privacy concerns, and understand what security features the device has, or doesn’t have
Change default usernames and passwords
Many connected devices come with default passwords. Create long and unique passphrases for all accounts and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible. MFA will fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics or a unique one-time code sent to your phone or mobile device.
Put your devices on a guest network
Why? Because if a smart device’s security is compromised, it won’t grant an attacker access to your primary devices, such as laptops.
Configure privacy and security settings
The moment you turn on a new “smart” device, configure its privacy and security settings. Most devices default to the least secure settings–so take a moment to configure those settings to your comfort level.
Disable features you don’t need
Connected devices often come with features you will never need or use. If you can, disable those features to protect your security and privacy
When the manufacturer issues a software update, patch it immediately. Updates include important changes that improve the performance and security of your devices.
Consider where you keep them
Particularly for listening devices or ones with cameras, think strategically about where you place them in your home. Do you want them in a child’s room or where you have sensitive work or family discussions? Designation some of the areas of your home as “safe” rooms from IoT devices.