How You Can Secure IOT Devices in the Philippines
What are good preventive measures for securing your IoT devices?
- Change default information
- Keep your IoT device updated
- Secure your networks
- Avoid using personal accounts on IoT devices
2018 is the year of the Internet of Things—everyday objects that are connected to a network, letting them do what they can’t usually do. From coffeemakers making coffee as soon as your alarm goes off, to your air conditioning unit automatically turning off when your thermostat reaches certain temperatures. The Internet of Things creates an integrated system for your home items to work together without any sort of manual interaction!
In the Philippines, IoT devices are the newest trend to follow, and are projected to surpass mobile devices as the most sought-after items out in the market!
However, the IoT industry is relatively young, its functionalities were primarily focused on how it can bring convenience to its users and no particular focus was applied to increase its security functions.
IoT devices are vulnerable to cyber-attacks because the first manufacturers didn’t even see it as a major threat. The focus on interconnectedness and ease of access is what made IoT devices both an amazing product and a vulnerable one. With that being said, the best way to prevent cyber-attacks such as hacking and DDoS is by securing your IoT devices! And here are a few ways to do just that!
Change Default Information
An obvious step for securing devices for some, but is almost always taken for granted by the majority of people, changing the default account information is something that you should do right from the start when you get your IoT device. Although IoT devices are very easy to set up, it is important for you to first do the things that will help secure your personal information before anything else!
Changing the default username and password for all the IoT gadgets will significantly increase the protection of your information, but if it’s possible, you should also set up two-factor authentication as well. Be sure to keep in mind these passwords and authentication methods.
Although it doesn’t look like much, changing the default username and password will definitely make your IoT device more secure. In most cases, the default settings are shared among all of the IoT devices, it’s something that is of common knowledge to anyone who knows a thing or two about programming and hacking. You should also consider complex passwords instead of generic and easy to remember ones!
Keep Your IoT Device Updated
If you were one of the people who jumped onto the IoT device bandwagon as soon as you heard of it, then you’d probably still own one of the older versions—those that have very minimal security protocols installed. Old versions of IoT devices don’t have a lot of security measures so the manufacturers tend to do their best in updating its software to improve it overall.
Although updating your device is a hassle to some, it is paramount that you keep your IoT devices up-to-date. In particular, it provides additional layers of security along with software updates that are meant to improve the device as a whole!
Secure your Networks
Once your IoT devices are secure and safe, you should now focus on the only point where cyber-attacks can still go through—your network. In the Philippines, IoT devices rely heavily on Wifi connections—the all-encompassing network that is usually connected to the Internet. Anyone who is tech savvy would know the basics of securing their home networks, but for the benefit of those who don’t, here are a few effective points to consider when protecting your networks:
- Network Security Basics – Just like how IoT devices have default usernames and passwords, so does your modem or router. Prevent unknown people from connecting to your Wifi connection by changing its username and password! You might as well create a guest network for visitors, further solidifying a secure network connection dedicated to your IoT devices.
- Virtual Private Network – VPN services secure and encrypts all of the information that travels out of your network. Applying for VPN services is a great way of securing your network and personal information that can be found in it. However, it comes at a cause, as most VPN services require monthly or yearly fees.
Avoid Using Personal Accounts on IoT Devices
Another way of protecting your personal information in IoT devices is to avoid putting your sensitive information into one! Although it may look convenient to have your social media accounts logged into your smart TV, it can also make it vulnerable to getting accessed by those with malicious intent.
If you have no choice than to just add your personal information, then pick your IoT devices carefully. Choose the brand that you can trust. Most of the time big brands such as Amazon and Google would offer IoT devices that need your personal information such as email address and credit card information. However, since these brands have great reputations, they are easy to trust with such data.
IoT devices are the new fad all over the world. Smart homes are becoming more and more common, even when IoT devices have experienced some incidents of hacking and cyber-attacks. In that regard, buyers and manufacturers alike are doing all that they can in order to secure their IoT devices. If you’re new to the world of IoT devices, then make sure you keep it and your personal data secure at all times!