Can IoT Endanger Your Child?

Can IoT Endanger Your Child?

There’s something we can all say with certainty; IoT devices have become a massive part of children’s lives, rapidly changing how they play, learn and communicate. How things are going, almost every device in our homes will be connected to the internet. While there’s no doubt that IoT devices come with a specific set of advantages and comfort, they also come with one major drawback: lack of security.

With the exponential growth of IoT, security risks in the world are also constantly on the rise. Although IoT has provided businesses and households with the opportunity to improve efficiencies, the continual connectivity has proven to compromise the confidentiality of sensitive data, and the safety risks have grown significantly.

The total number of IoT devices is estimated to reach 30.9 billion by 2025. With that being said, individuals and parents need to step up and understand the security challenges of IoT technology. The top 3 IoT security challenges are:

  1. Data privacy
  2. Lack of visibility
  3. Ransomware

Can IoT Endanger Your Child? | Le VPN

Although ransomware attacks on IoT devices are currency rare, due to their growing value to their owners, it’s expected to be a significant risk in the future. Nonetheless, the reality is that any connected device is vulnerable to cyberattacks, so one needs to pay attention to and do everything in their power to prevent those potential attacks and not let IoT endanger their children.

Some of the best precautions you can take to minimize risks are always to change the default password, carefully read the terms and conditions, limit the amount of IoT devices, regularly update the software on all your connected devices, and use a VPN from reputable providers such as Le VPN.

Benefits and Downsides of IoT

IoT is, no doubt, one of the most talked about topics these days. Every new technology faces a million challenges in its initial phases, and IoT is no exception. There are more than a couple of issues that need to be tackled in order for IoT to utilize its fullest potential. Nonetheless, it is up to the individuals to weigh out the good and the bad and decide whether or not IoT devices are suitable for their household.

Benefits

By far, the best thing about IoT devices is that they improve the quality of our lives. Unfortunately, people who focus solely on these devices’ business benefits do not see the whole picture and the amount of comfort they provide. Automatization saves us a lot of time, which is one thing we always lack.

With IoT devices, we can easily gain access to information in real-time from almost any location we are at. We only need a good and safe internet connection and a smart device. As a result, things such as navigation and booking tickets are simpler than ever before.

With automation, better time management, and ease of access comes saving money. IoT devices have been proven very helpful in our day-to-day life by making devices communicate with each other, thereby saving and conserving both cost and energy.

Downsides

Although having ease of access is excellent, it comes at a certain price, which is a possible data breach. Our data is more exposed than ever before, and data breaches have become very stressful and, unfortunately, very common today.

Another downside of IoT is that it has contributed to a significant decrease in our attention spans. Moreover, we have become highly dependent on this technology, both professionally and personally. Therefore, it is up to us to limit how much of our daily lives we are willing to be controlled by technology.

Almost all of our information is available on the internet, making it prone to attack by hackers. There is no doubt that IoT has brought a handful of amazing things into sectors such as business, healthcare, and private lives. However, now that we are more aware of potential risks, we must do everything we can to keep things under control and as safe as possible.

Tips and Tricks on How to Safely Set Up IoT Devices?

Before you even buy IoT devices, you should do all sorts of things; the main one is to take time to research the device itself. The first information you should get is what type of data the IoT gathers and how much.

Afterward, it would help if you did thorough research on the company selling the device. You should know how long they have been around, how they handled past breaches, if there were any, what kind of security features they offer, and whether they are upfront about data collection or trying to hide it. Knowing all of this information and data will help you make a safe purchase.

Now that you made your purchase, it’s time to take the necessary steps to remedy any remaining vulnerabilities and safely set up your IoT device. If possible, you should turn off reporting and automatic sending of data, as well as any ancillary services that are not required for the device’s core functionality.

Additionally, you should log and monitor all IoT devices on your network and regularly run updates and patch devices. Finally, avoid connecting all of your IoT devices to the internet; keep the ones that need internet connectivity to function.

Perhaps the most important and safest thing you should do is change the default privacy and security settings. As you already know, the network and Wi-Fi are the first defense against cybercriminals, so make sure to change default router settings and have a strong password.

At last, avoid exposing your IoT devices to unsecured internet connections. Instead, segmenting your  IoT devices using VLANs and using a VPN from trustworthy VPN providers such as Le VPN is highly recommended. By combining and implementing all of the mentioned cybersecurity tips and tricks, you can be sure that you and your child are entirely safe.

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Written by Vuk Mujović @VukMujovic

Vuk Mujović is the founder of MacTíre Consulting, an analyst, data management expert, and a long-term writer on all things business & tech. He authored blogs, articles, and opinion pieces aimed to help both companies and individuals achieve growth without compromising their security. Vuk is a regular guest author to Le VPN Blog since January 2018, where he gives his expert opinion on the topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, online freedom, and personal data protection. He also often shares his tips and best practices in relation to internet security and digital safety of private individuals and small businesses, including some additional applications of using a VPN service.

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