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Connected and Protected: Securing IoT

by | Jan 27, 2022

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New Year, New Devices.

As you’re unwrapping and setting up the best tech gifts from the holidays,  securing your new IoT devices may be the best gift of all. IoT, or the Internet of Things, refers to all the smart devices you may find in your home, like smart doorbells, smart speakers, or even smart pet technology.

Right off the bat, the challenge with IoT devices is that you don’t protect them the same way you can protect our computers, phones, and tablets. There just isn’t always a way to install security software on them. You may have read about IP cameras being hacked, or other ways in which home networks are vulnerable to attacks. This is because most IoT devices come with little built-in security, making them an easy target for hackers. What to do?

Securing your IoT devices is the first step. In this article, we’ll show you several ways to tighten up the security of your new and existing IoT devices. As a bonus, following these steps can also improve the overall security of your network too.

The best smart home devices can certainly make your home more convenient, safe, and fun. But they do open the door to some risk. Here’s how to secure both your network and your new devices so you can enjoy them without worry.

Securing IoT devices in 6 steps:

  1. Buy from reputable brands—Choose products from brands you trust. And brands that have a good reputation when it comes to support and built-in security features.
  2. Secure Your Network—Since your router is the central hub for all the connected devices in your home, take steps to secure your home WiFi. Make sure to use encryption to scramble your data so that no one else can see it. CenturyLink offers a solution, Secure WiFi Powered by McAfee®, which makes it easy to protect your connected home devices. Secure WiFi provides automatic protection for your entire home network including all your connected devices—even those without a display.

Have Secure WiFi? Download the My CenturyLink app for control over your router security.

Don’t have Secure WiFi? Learn more here

  1. Use Powerful Security Software—Invest in security software that can detect and block a variety of threats. And make sure it includes a firewall to protect against hackers. Security Software like CenturyLink Security by McAfee® is a comprehensive option that helps you safely connect to the internet no matter where you go. This is available free to all active CenturyLink internet subscribers!

Need free powerful Security Software for your computer, tablet, or smart device? Learn more here

  1. Change the Default Username & Passwords—Default names and passwords are often available on the dark web, allowing cybercriminals to login to your devices. Once logged in, they could potentially use the connection to distribute malware aimed at infecting the computers or smartphones connected to the same network.
  2. You should also plan on creating unique passwords and changing them regularly. To make life even easier, use a password manager to generate and track your complex passwords for you.
  3. Setup A Guest Network—To further protect your content-rich devices, set up a guest network on your router that is exclusively for your home IoT. With a guest network, you can make sure devices are only connected during the right times, with the right permissions. Follow the instruction in your router manual or look them up online.

By taking these precautions when you unwrap your smart home devices, you’re setting yourself up for a fun, safe, tech-filled New Year. For more on life with technology, check out the rest of the CenturyLink Discover blog.

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