There has been an enormous increase in attacks on mobile and IoT devices in recent years. In 2018, one third of all attacks targeted mobile devices, and IoT attacks grew 600% between 2016 and 2017. While these attacks are not new news for businesses, they are now impacting home and personal users who do not have the IT expertise or resources available to understand or take action to protect themselves against these threats.
Hackers are taking advantage of the lack of security on home networks. Many IoT devices are not built with security in mind, allowing hackers to easily gain access to your home and every device connected to your network. In April 2018, US and UK officials warned of Russian hackers targeting millions of routers often used in homes and small offices. It is foolish to think your home could not be the next target. Instead, everyone in the family can take steps to proactively protect their home networks and all the devices connected.
Protecting Your Home Devices
There are some easy steps you and every member of the family can take to protect your home network and devices:
Invest in a Firewall: This may seem like a simple to-do, but many people assume the router their internet provider rents out to them is secure enough. Most Wi-Fi routers are not built with security in mind and can lack even the basic security software features that are needed to stop hackers. As each IoT device, and any other computing device, must connect to the internet via a Wi-Fi router, it is crucial to get one that not only works, but can effectively protect your entire network from falling victim to a hacker. Invest in a firewall that allows you to block any unknown devices and see all the traffic on your network.
Change Default Passwords: You may have cryptic passwords for your banking and email accounts, but any account that requires a password, including your firewall, needs to have its default password changed.
Install Software Updates: Believe it or not, those software updates are more than just a nuisance. Vendors include security patches to address vulnerabilities found in their software, so it is important to update your devices and apps when those patches become available.