As a paperless company with all kinds of nifty tech designed to improve business and customer service, Best Security Okanagan understands the appeal of Internet-connected gadgets. It seems like there’s some new and cool toy coming out every week, from intelligent thermostats and WiFi enabled door locks to baby monitors connected to the ‘cloud’. But if all of these modern conveniences are connected to the Internet and computers, doesn’t that also put them at risk of being hacked?

That’s exactly the question that had governments, tech giants and security professionals on high alert this past October when hackers took control of millions of connected devices and used them to bring down some of the biggest websites in the world, including Twitter, Spotify, Netflix and the New York Times. Huge portions of the Internet were brought down by smart baby monitors, webcams, smart TVs, thermostats, and other household tech items.

At this point, the technology has evolved too quickly for governments to keep up and in many ways the industry is unregulated. Without proper security checks in place, there’s no way to know whether or not your device, and your home, can be hacked. Imagine if a clever burglar was able to easily hack into your WiFi-enabled deadbolt or hack into your in-home security cameras, giving them the ability to monitor your home without you knowing.

Protecting your home from IoT security threats

While there are some serious security concerns for Internet of Things home gadgets, toys and cars, there are also simple steps you can take to help protect your family and minimize risk.

  1. Change default passwords and select passwords that are complex and unpredictable. Default passwords are universal and make it easier for hackers to access and control your devices.
  2. Update your software regularly. These updates often include patches for security and can help address vulnerabilities in the system.
  3. Reconsider whether your device actually NEEDS to be connected. Don’t purchase connected devices simply for the sake of having the latest gadget. Maybe your refrigerator doesn’t have to be smart.
  4. Entrust your home security with experts. Rather than setting up unsecured consumer webcams around your home and property, work with a residential and commercial security expert to install cameras that are designed by trusted security companies. Likewise for your WiFi-enabled doorbells, deadbolts, and thermostats.

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