The Hidden Risk of IoT Devices that Could Ruin Your Life

In 2016, 1.6 billion internet connected things will be used by smart cities according to the estimates of Gartner Inc. i.e. 39 percent increase from 2015.

The estimates suggest; there is a quick turnaround for smarter gadgets and smarter home among the minds of people. And creative companies are working hard to build smart gadgets that will suit the needs of consumer and make their life easier.

Consumers too are waiting eagerly for life enhancing products but it leaves product manufacturers and designers to come up with a cutting edge quality product in shorter development cycles. What happens finally; a substandard product is rushed to the market, the poorly constructed software allows cyber criminals to crack in.

IOT Devices that are overlooked for security measures include web cameras, smart TVs, printers, routers, thermostats, etc. If you don’t want others to unlock the door of privacy then before you go with IOT, you may have to consider the security risks too. Ensure your device is not a compromised version.

Cyber Criminals are Eyeing!!

Webcams

The most targeted devices by hackers; with the help of Shodan, the search engine for IOT devices, it has become much easier. CNN Money reported Shodan as the scariest search engine on the internet; I have no arguments on that, in fact the scariest. Do you want to experience it? Spend some time with this video; presentation by Dan Tentler at Defcon 20.

Hackers have not left out baby cams either; In April 2015, a hacker posted feeds from 1000 baby monitors. Literally, you have to be careful before going live on internet.

Smart TVs

Inarguably, the most widely accepted IOT device but have faced criticism for invading privacy many number of times. Wondering, how smart TVs invade your privacy? Often big brands track viewing habits of consumers, which they will share with advertisers. And the worst part of all, these viewing pattern are sometimes connected with IP addresses, this will open the gates for hackers to dig every device on your home.

Wi-Fi powered switches and bulbs

You won’t expect this to happen, when you decided to go with Wi-Fi enabled light bulbs and switches. These innovative gadgets often fail to encrypt network communications, most of the application lacks transport encryption. What happens is, the intruders could find a way to read data traveling from device sensors before it reaches the cloud. This is not always due to manufacturers fault, may be the protocol used is responsible for it. There is some research going into it, in 2015 researchers found you can take over every IOT device connected to a hub, if you can compromise the protocol used for it. The least you want to hear.

These are just examples, cyber criminals are shrewd. If you are not fixing the holes and bugs in your system. They are going to run you. You have to be smart to stop them, don’t leave a chance to track. From picking your devices, setting up the password; you have to play a decisive role. Here’s what you have to consider before adopting IOT devices.

Don’t adopt any IOT device just by seeing the mere features. Give sometime to research; read the reviews and news about the device.

Ensure devices have got strong usernames and passwords; most often people tend to use the default username and password, which is a big mistake.

Keeping changing the security credentials, don’t use the same access credentials for long.

Go through the privacy policy to get info on how your data is collected or used; so that you can avoid services that invade the privacy of yours.

Install firmware and update security settings regularly to fix bugs.

Hopefully this will help to stay away from cyber criminals. Share your opinions and suggestions in the comments section.

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