Internet of Things: What you need to do to protect yourself

Using internet-connected devices expands our ability to control and monitor in the real world. The IoT is literally changing our lives.

The Internet of Things (IoT) join together physical devices that we use every day with information technology. We can use devices to monitor our health and fitness, our houses, our environment, and our factories and cities.

"The Internet of Things has the potential to fundamentally shift the way we interact with our surroundings. The ability to monitor and manage objects in the physical world electronically makes it possible to bring data-driven decision making to new realms of human activity – to optimize the performance of systems and processes, save time for people and businesses, and improve quality of life." ~ McKinsey Global Institute study

The potential economic impact of the IoT is astounding – as much as $11.1 trillion per year by 2025 for IoT applications, projected by the same study.

But is there a downside?

In many people's minds, surveillance, privacy issues, and data breaches seem to be someone else's problem. "Should I be concerned about all of this?," people who have "nothing to hide" think. Recently, we published how the Internet of Things can be hacked and what issues arise from the fact that we're almost 100% online and connected.

Nowadays, all this technology passes through very well-known and yet problematic points: Our home network security. When our early version of Avast 2015 was released, we published many articles about Home Network Security. During the past year, we gathered lots of proof and conducted social experiments to show that…

Your security is as strong as your network security

To protect your security and privacy, you must assure that your network and communications are safe. Although this seems like rocket science, some basic – but effective – measures can and should be taken. It's really not rocket science, so even us common folk can follow the steps below to make sure we're prepared to a secure our IoT life.

  1. Device protection: Install security software on all your connected devices. Avast is a worldwide leader in providing security for Windows, iOS, and Android devices. They can stop malicious actions and make all the difference when you're online. Your device protection also depends on its own installed software security, thus, keep all your apps and operational system up-to-date.
  2. Network protection: Not all antivirus software provides for proper network protection. If a cybercrook invades one of your devices –most commonly the router – all your network, devices, and data could be compromised. Avast has unique features to allow you to scan your network and find if there is any open door to hackers.
  3. Security best practices: There are numerous "best" practices, some of which will save you a lot of headaches. The most important is using different passwords for each online service or site and protecting yourself in open or public Wi-Fi networks. Avast Passwords to manage all your passwords and Avast SecureLine to safely connect you to Wi-Fi, will give you peace of mind.
Avast premium versions include all the protection you need including Home Network Security. You can download and test them for free from the Avast website.
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