The Internet of Things (IoT) is the term used to describe the network of physical devices that utilize the Internet to operate. It may not initially come to mind, but there are many subcategories of this type of technology that encompass many different devices that we see in our daily lives. Below, we’ll take a look at four of the major categories of IoT devices that are common and also discuss a few ways to help protect these important devices.
Smart Kitchen Appliances – Smart kitchen appliances encompass any appliance used in the kitchen that connects to Wi-Fi and often these devices can be controlled by some other IoT device such as your phone. You may likely use smart kitchen appliances throughout your entire day – from a smart coffeemaker to kick start your day from your bed to heating up your work from home lunch in the smart microwave then finishing up the day with your dinner made up of food out of the smart fridge (that just sent you a reminder to purchase eggs since it detected that you are getting low!) cooked in your smart oven! Anything that can be smart in the kitchen has an IoT device to make it smart in the kitchen.
Smart Baby Devices – Smart baby devices help new parents to safely monitor their child with the use of technology. Camera baby monitors have become the new standard for monitoring a baby – it is uncommon to find the walkie-talkie style previously seen for many of us when we were young. There are other monitors that have pushed their way into popularity now that help to monitor a baby’s breathing patterns and make sure they are safe. Some of these include wearable little socks that parents can easily slip on a sleeping baby’s footsies and some are little play pads that have similar technology in them. These devices communicate with your phone or laptop, giving you real-time notifications as well as statistics related to your baby’s well-being.
Smart Watches – Smart watches are used for a plethora of reasons by many different sorts of people. Some folks use these watches to track their steps and help them to reach their exercise goals while others use them to keep updated on their various notifications from different business applications while on the go — others use it for both and even more! Smart watches have become a common accessory for many people today and they often connect to an individual’s other IoT-enabled devices like a smartphone or tablet. They often make up a small IoT network of devices for themselves!
Smart Home Safety Systems – There are many home safety systems that are apart of the Internet of Things world. Home security systems can include anything from camera sensors to motion sensors to contact sensors that notify you when a door or window has been opened. These systems usually are accompanied by a sign for your front yard to advertise to any unsavory folks to not even try anything. These help to protect your home in so many ways. Smart environmental sensors like smoke detectors help to prompt you in the event of any smoke and smart thermostats help to make it easier to control the climate in your home. Needless to say, smart home safety is a sect of IoT that spans many areas of the home.
Protecting Your IoT World
- Reset the factory settings – All devices with IoT capabilities come as they were set up in the factories they were created in. Because of this, all devices that come from the same place are going to have the same login settings. These settings come standard on devices which makes them easily hackable. Take the time to change them and make unique login information for each device. This will add a layer of protection to your use of IoT devices.
- Disable unused features – Sometimes an IoT device will come with all the bells and whistles meanwhile you simply want to use one bell that the device features. In a case like this where there are many, many features that you do not necessarily want or need to use, be sure that you take the time to disable these aspects of the devices. This could be anything from a camera to a microphone or something else; be sure that anything that is not needed is disabled.
- Keep devices up-to-date – Manufacturers of IoT devices will occasionally push out updates that apply to any items produced by them. This will often come to you in the form of a software update notification; while these notifications can seem useless and annoying, it is important that you read what is being updated with that new software and determine if that is something you would like to have applied to your devices. Sometimes these updates are simply upgraded features that you may or may not want for your devices, but often, they are patches to security issues that have been discovered. It is important to implement these updates quickly so as to avoid risks posed by these vulnerabilities.
- Secure your home Wi-Fi – Most of the time when you use IoT devices, you will be using them in your home or in a familiar place. Be sure that these networks are secure and protected with strong, unique passwords. Some cyber professionals even recommend setting up a separate Wi-Fi network specifically for your IoT devices so as to add an additional layer of protection for those devices as well as for the devices you would connect to your normal network. Be sure to make these passwords complex and do not post them in places where they are obviously seen. With things like a baby monitor or a smart home security system, doing all that you can to protect your IoT-enabled home is incredibly important!