Technology 3 min read

How to Protect Your IoT Devices From Cyberattacks

Here's a definitive guide on how you can protect your IoT devices against cyberattacks and ensure that your home and data are safe.

Joe Techapanupreeda / Shutterstock.com

Joe Techapanupreeda / Shutterstock.com

Securing your IoT devices against cyberattacks is a now priority, and here’s how to do it.

Internet of Things has evolved at a rapid pace in recent years, and it’ll grow even more. According to experts, 20 billion devices will be connected to IoT by 2020.

What’s more, IoT products and service providers will make a whopping $300 billion business in revenue in the coming years. However, the proliferation comes with a significant downside.

Cyberattacks on IoT devices has accelerated at an unprecedented rate. According to a report, the attack traffic grew by three-fold to more than 2.9 billion events in 2019.

Here’s how the attacks occur.

At home, your appliances and devices connect to the internet and each other via your home network. Attackers can quickly exploit the vulnerabilities in one device to access the entire system.

For example, low-cost models of IP cameras or even smart bulbs are seldom secure. And they can provide easy access to other devices that are connected to the network.

That means everyone with a smart home need to protect their devices from these cybercriminals. But how?

5 Best Practices to Protect Your IoT Devices

Here are five tips to help secure your smart home and IoT devices from cyberattacks.

1. Secure your Network

Consider changing your router name. As simple as this sounds, using a name that doesn’t give away any personal identifiers is the first step in securing your network.

The next step is to use a secure encryption method for Wi-FI access. In this case, WPA2 should keep your network and communication safe.

It’s also good practice to create a guest network for your visitors. That way, your IoT devices can remain on a separate and more secure network.

2. Secure Your IoT Devices

IoT devices usually come with default usernames and passwords, and a cybercriminal looking to access these devices probably knows it.

So, before purchasing an IoT product, ensure you change the default password. Then create a unique, complex password that’s a blend of letters numbers and symbols.

Also, check your device’s default privacy and security settings to identify potential vulnerabilities. For example, you may want to disable settings like remote access.

3. Update Your Software Regularly

Software updates are sometimes a patch for a security flaw. Manufacturers send these updates to address some vulnerabilities that intruders may want to explore.

As such, regular software updates may be the single most essential practice. Whether it’s your IoT device or smartphone, do not put off installing software updates.

4. Opt for Two-Factor Authentications

Two-factor authentication is an additional security layer that addresses the vulnerabilities of a standard password.

It supplements the username and password model with a one-time code sent to your phone. That way, even if your log-in details become compromised, your data will still be safe.

5. Keep IoT Devices Off Public Networks

It’s never a good idea to use your IoT devices on an open Wi-Fi network. This is especially true when you’re using the device to access sensitive information such as email or bank details.

However, if you absolutely must use a public network, consider investing in a good VPN.

Read More: Why Data Privacy Matters Even More in an IoT World

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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