For some reason, so many IoT (Internet of Things) devices suffer from major security flaws and I’d recommend being very wary of these funky new gadgets, until manufacturers can start taking your cyber security seriously. A couple of things to avoid include (but are not limited to):
- The HAVR light-activated door unlocking thing. At least until early adopters flush out the security flaws
- Smart light bulbs, just say no. Some brand of these have already been implicated in data breaches
- Internet enabled baby monitors. Just be aware that they may be insecure.
- Web connected security cameras
- Some password managers
- Grammarly, yup
- Cars with clever new internet connectivity features
All in all, these stories could make it seem like everything is vulnerable… and you’d be right. However, before we all unplug the internet and wrap our homes in chicken wire, let’s take a measured approach:
- Only get an IoT device if you really think you need it. This means, if a friend or relative gives you a cool new internet connected gadget that you were otherwise never going to purchase, it’s probably wise to think twice before letting it invade your life
- Don’t trust IoT devices that haven’t be on the market long. It’s entirely possible that, in a rush to get to market, manufacturers do not do sufficient testing on their products before just letting the public find the bugs for them
- Do some research. Not only are impulse purchases generally a bad idea, but doing some reading about a new gadget you’re thinking of buying will help you stay informed
- Limit the potential scope of damage. This isn’t an easy one to describe, since you’ll need to train yourself to be more aware of security breaches which don’t exist yet. An example might be: don’t leave your credits cards lying around in sight of that new web-connected security camera you installed.