Privacy concerns are a hot topic in the cybersecurity community at the moment. The number of data breaches and other hacks is continuously increasing, and users aren’t always familiar with the best cybersecurity practices. However, protecting your IoT devices doesn’t have to be so complicated. Taking a couple of precautionary measures can increase your security level by tenfold. In this article, we will share our top ten tips on how to protect your data on IoT devices. Let’s start.
Use an Antivirus
If you don’t use an antivirus by now, then what are you waiting for? These software solutions have been around for a while now, carefully protecting everyone’s IoT devices regularly. Every digital device should use an antivirus, especially when connected to the internet. Antivirus is the first line of defense, and it will detect and remove any potential threats. We recommend performing weekly or bi-weekly scans to ensure that your devices aren’t compromised.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a practice where the users need to go through two verification steps before they can access their device or account. While regular passwords are usually secure, they are still vulnerable to hacking attempts. However, when you combine the traditional login process with another verification option, the chances of getting hacked will decrease significantly. The most common forms of 2FA include fingerprint scans, security questions, email or phone number verifications, and facial recognition.
Use Anti-Spyware Software
Anti-spyware software is similar to antiviruses, however, some key differences set them apart. Antivirus software is a tool that was designed to block, detect, and remove viruses from digital devices. Anti-spyware, on the other hand, aims to detect a specific set of threats – spyware. You can find a lot of anti-spyware options on the market, such as Malwarebytes or ADW Cleaner. But, a lot of today’s antivirus suits come with anti-spyware software, so make sure to check whether your antivirus provider also offers dedicated anti-spyware tools.
Generate Strong Passwords
This tip is widely-known and always talked about. However, some still don’t take it seriously. Using strong passwords is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your accounts and digital devices are safe. If you use a weak password, hackers can crack it in a matter of hours. However, if you create a strong password that includes numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters, it would require decades to successfully crack. You can use Google’s password manager to generate strong passwords or other third-party options.
Use a Password Manager to Store Passwords
This point goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. Password managers usually offer the feature to create and save strong passwords for the user. Moreover, password managers are a great tool to ensure that you’re protected from any keylogger software. Keylogger software tracks all keystrokes and sends that data back to hackers. Then, they can reverse-engineer what you typed to extract credit card data, login credentials, etc. Password managers store all your passwords in a single place, and when users want to sign in to their account, the password manager enters the credentials automatically. That means that you don’t have to type your passwords. Hence, no keylogging software will be able to track your keystrokes.
Don’t Overshare on Social Media
Privacy concerns regarding social media have been a hot topic in the cybersecurity world for a while now. While it is interesting and fun to share photos and other stuff with their friends and followers, users often don’t think about potential risks. First and foremost, someone can use social media to track your location. If that’s not dangerous enough, then malicious actors can also use the information you post to get into your accounts. Social media often contains private information, such as dates of birth, pet names, family name, etc. And, most security questions require this information for a password reset, for example. So, be careful with what you post, otherwise, someone might take advantage of it.
Use a VPN
What is a VPN, though? VPN is a great tool that allows users to browse the web safely and securely. It acts as an additional layer of security between the user and the web. VPNs disguise the user’s location by assigning them a new IP address. It also encrypts all traffic that goes through the user’s device. Using a VPN is especially important when using public Wi-Fi. These are extremely prone to man-in-the-middle attacks, and using a VPN will ensure that you don’t fall victim to these exploits. Plus, all your internet searches will be hidden from your internet service provider.
Don’t Connect to Public Wi-Fi
We have briefly mentioned how dangerous it can be to connect to public Wi-Fis. They host a large number of digital devices at the same time, which makes them a perfect target for hackers. There are many ways how malicious actors can use these connections to hurt users. Some of those include man-in-the-middle attacks, snooping, sniffing, etc. However, we understand that sometimes, using public Wi-Fi is the only option. If so, then make sure to enable a VPN on your IoT devices before connecting to the public network.
Educate Yourself on Potential Scams
Hackers are always looking for new ways to exploit users. They frequently come up with new scams and social engineering methods to target unknowing individuals. On the bright side, a large number of these scams have certain things in common. So, by educating yourself on potential red flags, you would significantly reduce the chance of getting exploited. You can find various cybersecurity news websites, where they often post information about recently discovered scams. Make sure to check them out from time to time.
Never Download Files from Untrusted Sources
Third-party software download websites can be a double-edged sword. While you can find some reliable, secure, third-party service providers, many of them are fake. Because the demand for cracked software is high, hackers have decided to set up fake websites offering users to download these files for free. The catch is that they place these installation files with malware or spyware,which runs in the background. So, when the user installs the file, it will infect their devices. As a precaution, always make sure to research the third-party website before agreeing to download anything.