FBI Warning for Internet Connected Devices

Internet connected devices or Internet of Things (IOT) have grown in popularity over the last few years. Devices such as Smart TVs, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Ring Doorbells and cameras are all in this category. You may be planning to purchase one of these devices for your home this holiday season. While these devices offer amazing functionality, they are (as are all devices) vulnerable to hackers. Because most people carry at least one device between home and work, this is also a security risk for the office.

This problem had grown so severe, that the FBI issued a warning a few weeks ago about this issue. Just today, a story was published about hackers compromising Ring cameras and harassing homeowners.

The following are some best practices:

  • Change the default passwords for any IOT devices to “strong” passwords. A mix of upper case, lower case, numbers and special symbols ($ummer2020!) Make sure the password is not one that you use with other accounts
  • Setup Two-factor authentication when available
  • Place these devices on a different network than the one you use for your computers. (more on this below)
  • On your phone, check the permissions that you have allowed apps to have. For instance, does Sonos need permission to your camera and microphone? Does Words with Friends need permission to your location?
  • Update your devices regularly, at least 3-4 times per year. Often manufacturers will find security issues and release updates to fix these problems.

If we manage your home network, we have already started to implement these steps. If not we are glad to give you more detailed instructions, recommendations and any assistance you may need. Contact us today!