Wow cool! A device that lets you know, via Internet, when your milk is beginning to sour! And a connected thermostat—turning the heat up remotely an hour before you get home to save money…and “smart” fitness monitors, baby monitors, watches…
Slow down. Don’t buy a single smart device until you ask yourself these 10 questions. And frankly, there’s a lot of effort in some of these questions. But, security isn’t always easy. Check it out.
- Was the company ever hacked? Google this to find out.
- If so, did the company try to hide it from their customers?
- Review the privacy policies and ask the company to clarify anything—and of course, if they don’t or are reluctant…hmmm…not good. Don’t buy a device that collects data from vendors that fail to explain data security and privacy.
- Does the product have excellent customer support?
- Is it hard to get a live person? Is there no phone contact, only some blank e-mail form? Easily accessible customer support is very important and very telling of the product’s security level.
- Does the product have vulnerabilities that can make it easy for a hacker to get into? You’ll need to do a little digging for this information on industry and government websites.
- Does the product get cues for regular updates? The manufacturer can answer this. Consider not buying the device if there are no automatic updates.
- Does the product’s firmware also automatically update? If not, not good.
- Is the Wi-Fi, that the device will be connected to, secure? Ideally it should be WPA2 and have a virtual private network for encryption.
- Will you be able to control access to the product? Can others access it? If you can’t control access and/or its default settings can’t be changed…then be very leery.
- What data does the device collect, and why?
- Can data on the device traverse to another device?
- Ask the gadget’s maker how many open ports it has. Fewer open ports means a lower chance of malware slithering in.
- Is stored data encrypted (scrambled)? If the maker can’t or won’t answer this, that’s a bad sign.
- Ask the manufacturer how the device lets you know its batteries are low.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Bitdefender’s BOX: All-in-one Cybersecurity from one App
Gee, if your home is connected to lots of different devices, doesn’t it make sense that your cybersecurity integrates all your connected devices? Meet the Bitdefender BOX, a network bulletproofing hardware cybersecurity tool for the home that embraces smart home protection focusing on the Internet of Things with remote device management offering next generation privacy
- How hackable is my Home Security System?
In a few words, there are some issues. But, really, don’t worry about it. But be aware of whats going on. So are your home’s Internet-connected smart gadgets smart enough to ward off hackers? A research team found that they’re pretty dumb in this area. A house was filled with smart gadgets in an experiment to
- Products to keep Kids safe online
Some people believe that monitoring your kids’ online activities crosses the line of privacy or trust. But monitoring and controlling online activities is, essentially, no different than controlling access to the cookie jar or TV or even locking a liquor cabinet. Which brings me to a way that parents can always know exactly what their kids
- Boosting Healthcare Security with Smart Cards
The Smart Card Alliance has put together a list of frequently asked questions about how smart cards work in a healthcare environment, and provided excellent answers. A smart card resembles a typical credit card, but is embedded with a small microprocessor chip, which makes it “smart.” That chip is a powerful minicomputer that can be
- How Hackers are Hacking Smarthomes
“My house was hacked!” Had you said this 25 years ago, people would have thought a burglar vandalized it with an axe. Say it today and nearly everybody will know what you mean: A thief or prankster “broke” in to your house via its connected-to-the-Internet gadgets. If something’s connected, like your refrigerator, the possibility of hacking