MacDirectory Magazine

Mads Hindhede Svanegaard

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 122 of 133

To anyone familiar with security in the IoT space — or the lack thereof — this will come as no surprise. Smart devices are notoriously vulnerable, and have been for years. And unfortunately, a lot of smart device manufacturers still treat cybersecurity as an afterthought, placing the burden of security on, well, you. For this reason, it’s a good time to review the things you can do to keep your Internet of Things things a little bit more secure: 1. Ask if it needs to be smart Some devices really do need to be connected to the Internet to work. But if your fancy new smart toaster will work just as well as a “dumb” toaster, then the safest thing to do is avoid connecting it to a network. 2. Stick to the experts If you want to buy a smart thing for networked use, stay with reputable and well-established manufacturers — and ideally ones that have experience with technology and cybersecurity. That means no companies that just popped up last month, and none whose engineers have zero experience dealing with security issues. To put it bluntly: Apple and Toshiba are far safer bets than a coffee company that felt the world needed smart espresso machines. 3. Don’t buy from the bargain bin A discontinued (or soon to be discontinued) product may be a good deal, but no one is going to be supporting it. That could leave you exposed if a vulnerability is discovered in the future, because there won’t be any team of security engineers rolling out a patch! 4. Read the reviews Trouble in one technical area often signals a wider problem with software development and quality control. This can be a sign that the company’s security is not up to snuff. If users report buggy app interfaces or trouble running updates, those are definite red flags. 5. Change the password Lots of IoT products come with a preset username and password — as in, the exact same one for every single model of the device in the world. That’s great news for hackers: Since lots of people never change those defaults, hacking them is as easy as typing in “admin, admin”! Don’t be low-hanging fruit — change the default username and password on a new device as soon as you can. it’s very important to remove any lost or stolen devices from your list of trusted devices. You can do this at 6. Read the manual There are manufacturers (the good ones, anyway) that will actually put a lot of time and effort into making sure that users can properly secure their devices. They publish guides and knowledge base articles on their websites. These often go into great detail about topics like software and firmware updates, changing default passwords, and customizing security settings. If you have a new IoT device, make use of these resources: Take a few minutes to learn about your smart thing’s security features.

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