The internet of things. It’s a wonderful product of society’s love of technology and needs to
make daily tasks more efficient. Think about it. How many devices do you own? Most people today have at the very least a smartphone, computer, and tablet.
These devices all share data, so you don’t have to worry about which device you downloaded “Monster Mash” on for the kids to listen to in the car. All devices can play the song.
This idea of convenience has transferred not just through electronic devices but to other
common household items. Today, homeowners can buy anything from a smart car to a smart fridge.
While smart home automation isn’t by itself insecure, any one of these everyday household
objects is hackable. Why? They’re all controlled by your smartphone.
Small Devices, Big Security Risk
While most people know to install antivirus on their computers, not as many people think to add this protection to their smartphone, and even less think that they should protect their smart fridge or thermostat.
Any IoT device can be compromised if someone hacks your cell phone. What makes matters worse is that these hackers can then pivot from device to device and gain access to other devices like your tablet and computer.
This scenario involves just one home. Imagine every smartphone in the country getting hacked due to this security fall.
Homeowners are the only ones vulnerable, though. A 2015 study by Check Point Software
“found that organizations with more than 2,000 devices on the network have a 50% chance that at least six of them are infected.”
With many companies opting for “Bring Your Own Device” programs, proper cybersecurity and has become critical for company success. Since personal cell phones can’t be monitored, it makes it harder to monitor.
If one of your employees decides to go out to Starbucks, for example and connects to their wifi while there, they could actually be connecting to a dummy wifi-signal masquerading as
Starbucks. Hackers can use Pineapple Wifi to view and collect any information transmitted over this signal goes directly back to the hacker.
As a business owner, you should do more than just hope they don’t open any company emails while on their coffee break.
Between rogue wifi, malware, and innocuous apps, there are multiple ways to infect phones and then other devices.
Attack Preparation Tips
The number of risks to both consumers and businesses will only increase in the coming years with new technology.
However, by increasing awareness of these problems, more people can better protect
Here are some security measures you can take to protect your personal information:
- Download antivirus for your phone and update it regularly.
- Always use a password. Make sure it’s not a commonly known fact or phrase. Never use
this password for other applications.
- Disable Bluetooth when you aren’t using it. This is one of the easiest access points for a
hacker to connect.
- Encrypt your information with a VPN. Using a VPN allows you to easily secure your
information and doesn’t require much technical knowledge.
- If you have children and let them use y0ur cell phone or other connected devices, teach
them online best practices.
Protecting your phone from unwanted cyber attacks will keep your personal and financial
information safe. Hacking into phones is incredibly easy because anyone can Google articles online and teach themselves how to hack.
By increasing awareness about cybersecurity and informing people about which steps to take to stay safe, hackers will have a harder time trying to steal your information.
New devices come onto the market daily. It’s important to make sure that with you purchase, you also invest in the proper security measures to keep it, and your current electronic family safe.
About the Author
Megan Ray Nichols is a freelance science and writer and the editor of Schooled By Science. She writes weekly on scientific news stories. Megan is a regular contributor to Datafloq, Big Data Made Simple and The Energy
Collective. You can subscribe to her blog here and follow her on Twitter.