Great New Connected Devices – But Take Precautions!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is going on and this thing flings me treats and shoots lasers (lasers!)– all from commands from Amazon’s Alexa It’s perfect way to spend my day when not helping at Groff NetWorks. According to the humans, there’s even a two-way camera for video conferencing with my dad, a real timesaver because it takes forever to text when you don’t have thumbs.

A big difference between the PetCube and PetCube 2 is the newer version will have Alexa built-in. As a tech expert, this made my fluffy ears perk up. More and more we rely on interconnected technology in our homes, so much that we see it in toys for your pets like me. Hackers know this and it shows, considering the FBI released a warning expressing the dangers of criminals using interconnected devices. Part of the problem is that there are no security standards for manufacturing companies that make these devices on account of it being such a new phenomenon. That means the responsibility of better protecting your IoT devices falls to you. Here’s some easy tips for you to follow.

1. Use a good router from a trusted manufacturer. Don’t just use the internet service provider gives you as hackers are more likely to be able to break into ones like that. Look for high-security models from makers like Netgear, Asus, or Linksys.

2. Change the admin password on the router right away. The admin password your router comes with is most likely listed on some hacker website, a common practice by hackers who love to share them with other hackers. Create a password only you would know. Here’s some tips for you on how to make a strong password that easy to remember

3. Update the firmware on the router, and keep it updated. The stronger your firmware is, the harder it is to break into your router. Like how the faster the squirrel is, the harder it is to catch.

4. Use a good Domain Name System service (DNS service) so that you can have a strong perimeter defense against hackers. A DNS Service will catch a lot of nasty code and malware before it has a chance to launch. For home networks, we recommend using a service like OpenDNS or Quad9 DNS. These setting will better protect your network of IoTs.

Don’t be stressed, just take precautions. The more connected devices you have, the more treats you are leaving out for hackers to snack on— a decent router, with updated firmware and secure password plus a DNS Service will keep the bad dogs