Before Using Smart Devices

Before Using Smart Devices Before Using Smart Devices

Smart technology, often referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), are embedded into devices, vehicles, and even homes. These devices are controlled or accessed through the Internet and can be found in everyday objects like smart thermostats, automated coffee makers, fitness trackers, smart watches, and more.

Potential security risks posed by these devices may be difficult to address without first understanding how they interconnect, and what type of data is collected, stored, and shared. IoT devices may put your data at risk if they are not securely configured. It is important to know how to protect your data and your IoT devices.

Before using smart devices, do the following:
  • Keep your devices up-to-date. Manufacturers periodically release software updates for some of their devices. Check with your device's manufacturer for the latest software updates.
  • Whenever possible, encrypt your device before using it. Some devices, such as home security cameras, have the capability to encrypt the data being stored. Once the data is encrypted, no one can read it if the data is ever leaked or stolen.
  • Read the terms and conditions and privacy policies. Know what rights the company has to your data and what they are allowed to do with it.
  • Change the default username and password. Devices such as your Internet router come with preset credentials that can be easily guessed. Create a strong username and password combination, using a mix of alphanumeric characters in upper and lower case.
  • Disable any unwanted features. Some fitness trackers, for example, have GPS enabled to track your exact location. When not actively using Bluetooth, camera, microphone, or mapping features, we recommend these capabilities be disabled.
  • When not in use, store your IoT devices in a safe location. There may be residual data stored on these devices.
  • Connect IoT devices to secure and trusted networks. When connecting devices to the Internet, avoid using free and public Wi-Fi connections.
  • Be cautious if purchasing off-brand IoT devices. It is recommended to buy devices from reputable manufacturers and vendors, as opposed to third-party vendors.

Have questions? We're here to help!

If you have questions about cybersecurity, or if you want to learn more about how to stay safe online, contact the Information Security Office (ISO) at: