What is Internet of Things (IoT) and how it works?

What is Internet of Things (IoT) and how it works

You have probably heard about the internet of things, we call it IoT, any device that connects to the Wifi of your home would be an IoT device. The internet of things is any non-traditional devices that are connected to the internet. Therefore, it is not computers, tablets, or mobile phones, but things like “smart” devices with inbuilt camera and microphone such as thermostats, cameras on doorbells, baby monitor, or even your refrigerator that connect to the internet. They allow you to change the temperature when you are away, see who is at your front door step, or even see when you are running out of milk. These technologies are all very convenient, but they open up a security hole because now your camera or thermostat can be access via the internet. In addition, if someone is able to guess or capture your password can connect to it as well.

Sometimes we forget to change the default password on these devices; we take them out of the box, plug them in, and then connect to them. Alternatively, we might buy a camera and not realize that it includes web access. If it does enable web access and you are not going to use it, make sure to disable this feature and secure your Wifi router is very important. As it is the gateway that blocks or allows access to IoT devices from outside worlds.

Stay Safe Whilst Going Online!

Make sure all of your devices are keep up to date. Just like your computer or mobile devices, IoT devices have updates released regularly that add features, fix bugs, and close security holes. Therefore, you always want to make sure that all of your internet of things devices are running the latest version of the software. You can do this by looking at the vendor or manufacturer’s website or by logging into your device itself. If you do not know how to do this, you can find out by reading the manual or looking at the vendor’s website. When you log in, they will typically tell you if the device is out of date or not.

  • Make sure all IoT devices are keep up to date.
  • Disable any web features that you do not utilize.
  • If you can connect to it from anywhere, that means anyone can – by simply guessing your password.
  • This type of internet connection is convenient, but opens up a security hole that needs to be secured
  • Examples of IoT devices include internet-connected thermostats, appliances, and closed circuit cameras.
  • For Stay Smart Online Visit Australian Cyber Security Centre

Now let’s talk about routers!

Now let’s talk about routers, which are the first line of defense to protect internet of things devices from exploitation. Pretty much everyone who has internet has a router. Lots of people don’t realize that routers should immediately be changed from the default username and password to something unique. This doesn’t mean the name of your wireless internet and your wireless password to get on the internet, but the username and password that’s used to log into the device itself, to make changes to your wireless network.

If left as the default, the attacker knows the password for anyone who has an for example Netgear Brand Router. Changing it to a strong password makes it harder for anyone to get into that router and make changes or compromise your security in the way hard to guess. If someone gains access to your router, they can see all of the other devices on your network. Now they can find out which devices they can take over and utilize for their benefit, such as watching the front doorbells cameras that you have connected to the internet.

Make sure that your router is regularly updated to the newest patches and to the newest firmware. You do that in the same way as you would do it with internet of things devices. You can log into the router itself and see if tells you if there’s a new version or not. Or go to the vendor’s website, look up the model that you have, and see if there are any updates out. If there are, follow their guide to get the newest and latest version of the software, to make sure that your security won’t be compromised.

  • Make sure your router is regularly updated to  avoid exploitation.
  • If someone gains access to your router they can see all other devices on your network.
  • Routers should be immediately cofgured to change the default username and  password to something unique.
  • Routers are the first line of defense to protect IoT devicesfrom exploitation.          

Top Tips for Internet of Things (IoT)

The top tips for staying safe while using internet of things are:

  • Change the default usernames and passwords on all devices, including your routers.
  • If you do not utilize web features, disable them on all internet of things devices.
  • Make sure all of your internet of things devices, including routers, are kept up to date with the newest firmware or patches that are provided.

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