Amer Owaida, ESET security writer, explains blog what are the dangers and how to protect yourself.

Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to use their smartphone-enabled voice assistant on a daily basis to brainstorm or schedule a meeting? Such smart tools can be integrated even in homes. A familiar example would be smart TVs.

However, the increasing spread of these devices also comes with various security risks, as such gadgets and tools can be used as new remedies by cybercriminals if they are not properly secured. So what steps can you take to ensure the security of devices connected to the internet and to mitigate the chances of falling victim to a cyber attack? He’s coming soon Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM), which is why we would like to offer you some tips to protect you from potential dangers. At ESET, we have a popular saying: “If it can be connected to the internet, it must be protected.”

Secure the Wi-Fi router

Securing the router should be the first step in securing the internet connection; after all, it is the path to all devices connected to it. A common mistake people make after installing the Wi-Fi router is that it does not change the default settings. Although it is practical to change them, you only expose yourself to a huge security risk. Therefore, you should immediately change both the password used to connect to the router and the password used to access its settings. When changing the router password, choose WPA 2 (or WPA 3 on newer routers, if all personal devices can connect to it). Also, don’t forget to update it to the latest firmware version; Many routers do their updates automatically, but it doesn’t hurt to check from time to time to make sure it’s up to date. For more tips, you can read another article on the same topic: ways to check if the router is configured securely.

Encrypts web traffic

In addition to securing your connection and router, encrypting web traffic can be just as important. The easiest way you can do this is to set up a virtual private network (VPN) which will function as an encrypted tunnel for internet traffic. In addition to protecting data from intruders, it can allow you to securely access data stored on your home network, even if you are remote. Another useful measure might be to set up a separate VPN for all connected smart devices.

Be careful with smartphones

The smartphone is probably the device that most of us use the most. We haven’t used it for calls for a long time; it is useful for us to take pictures, store files, receive and send emails – basically a small computer in our palms. And since it is connected to the internet, it must be secured. Most smartphones can now be protected with an endpoint security solution that can keep most threats at bay. For added protection, you can encrypt all sensitive data on your phone, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to use your data even if they manage to break into your device. You can increase the security of your smartphone by applying the tips listed in the article our 20 tips for 2020 article.

Constantly updates devices

We can’t put more emphasis on this: it’s vital that you update your devices regularly. It is true that this task becomes more difficult if we have more devices that require our attention. However, any fixes, security fixes, and updates should be implemented as soon as they are released either to fix specific vulnerabilities that, if left unattended, could be exploited by hackers or to increase device security. Do not ignore update requests or stop installing one patch if you find it available.

Protect your smart TV

Nowadays, it is quite difficult to find a TV that does not come with smart features, and although non-smart TVs still exist, people are looking to bring extra utility and convenience to TVs with the help of external streaming devices, such as a Chromecast. or Roku. Of course Smart TVs can also be compromised. Hackers could exploit its vulnerabilities to remotely control your TV or to infect it with malware. For you would protect the smart TV, you should start by configuring it correctly and going through its settings in detail; In addition, you can check for firmware updates and, last but not least, for security solutions that can be downloaded to increase the security of your device.

conclusions

As the number of connected devices increases in most of our homes, we need to adapt and adopt better cybersecurity practices. Although the comfort of smart devices is excellent and makes our lives easier, we should not lose sight of the fact that they can be easily compromised. A small loophole is enough for a cybercriminal to cause you considerable damage to your wallet. So don’t forget: “If it can be connected to the internet, it must be protected”.