The Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting everything and bringing the world into a new age of possibilities. While we are all dreaming of working from home, shopping with the blink of an eye, and adjusting the thermostat from work, a group of criminals is devising plans of their own. Sadly, there are people in the world that want nothing more than to steal your identity, your money, and peace of mind. Knowing how to keep your devices safe will prevent those bad actors from making you a target. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect your personal devices, just as you would protect your smart home appliances.
Setting strong passwords will prevent someone from guessing what it is. Take some cues from websites—some force you to use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Do the same on your phone and tablet. Create a unique password for each device as well. In the event someone guesses your password, they won’t have access to everything. If you have trouble remembering the password, go analog and write it on a scrap of paper and stick it somewhere handy.
Operating system updates are there to improve the user experience. An update could have anything from security to performance improvements. Most of us see the update notification and click past it to get back to Candy Crush, but we should always update when prompted. There could be updates to fight against new security threats to your device.
Mobile devices allow us to connect to the internet no matter where we are. The first thing we do is search for a Wi-Fi signal when we get anywhere. It saves us on data and roaming charges. However, you need to be wary of unsecured networks though. Stay safe when on a public network and use a virtual private network (VPN). It allows you to enjoy a safe secure network even when on a public one.
Jailbreaking or rooting your phone is to unlock and remove all the safeguards the manufacturer put in place. People do this so they can access anything they want. It’s tempting to do this to access app stores other than the official ones. However, the apps on these illegitimate stores don’t go through a vetting and so others may easily hack into your device.
Tablets and smartphones hold a lot of data; personal, financial, and sensitive. If someone steals that information, you are likely to fall victim to a slew of cybercrimes. To protect your devices, make sure to encrypt the data. Encrypted data resides on an unreadable form so that anyone trying to, won’t be able to understand it. Most devices have an encryption method within the security settings.