Dangers of Smart Devices: In the age of COVID-19

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Dangers of Smart Devices_ How to secure them

Introduction:

I have been wanting to write about those smart devices, Amazon Echo, Google Nest, Apple Homepod.

I might be old school and I am raised this way. But my family always told me never to talk to strangers and give everybody your information. Don’t tell everybody your business online, use a nickname when you sign up to something. When I think back in the day we cared a lot more about our privacy because the more they know about you, the more they can control you or use your information to sell you something or sell your data to other companies.

Apple HomePod

Going back in time.

My mom always told me never to tell a stranger your business, use a nickname when you go online, people can steal your identity, or hack and steal your ID.  This is all a tool for the governments’ surveillance, I know Google and Apple have been working with the communist Chinese party on the Social Credit score. Which many human rights organizations have been critical of. Back in the days, they were already putting cameras in cable boxes, to check our behavior when we watch a certain program. Just be careful with the smart devices and make sure your router is secure and you turn off features you don’t need.

Google Nest

Now

These days they don’t need to hide cameras anymore. Now you buy them for your convenience. Cameras are in your smartphones, in the cars to see if you are falling asleep, know exactly where you are with builtin GPS, camera, and microphones listening where you are 24/7, how long you sleep with your smartwatch. These smart devices are a danger to our privacy and could become a tool for mass surveillance.

Amazon Echo

How to secure your smart devices

Like regular computers, these devices are computers on the inside too, and they are also a target for hackers. If they have control they can hear and see everything you are doing in your house, including confidential information, bank account info, social security numbers, etc.

  1. Router: If the WiFi Router is older then 5 years, replace it. Give your new WiFi router a new random name, g&vrt_w$ogwef!27321 for example. Make sure to use the strongest encryption available on your WiFi router and use a random password generator that uses symbols numbers upper and lower case letters. It is also important to change the default username and password on your WiFi router. Keep your WiFi router up to date
  2. IoT: Disable all the features on your smart device you don’t need, such as remote access, update your device with the latest software.
  3. Other: Also keep the devices that are connected to the IoT Smart Home device up to date, Delete apps you don’t use, check for a firmware update for your smartphone. Use two-factor authentication wherever possible. Don’t connect your phone to unknown public hot-spots. And don’t use public charging stations!
  4. Common sense; If it sounds too good to be true it mostly is. Don’t just click yes on something you don’t know about on your smartphone or on your PC without knowing what it will do, read the message, and if in doubt, close it by the red x. Run regular virus scans on your computer and smartphone from reputable manufacturers, like Norton, Avast, McAfee, Sophos. Also, run Malwarebytes to scan for malware on your computer about once a week too.
  5. Use A VPN A Virtual Private Network service anonymizes the traffic and secures your home network by encrypting the traffic and anonymizes your IP address.

Conclusion:

I know this isn’t a fully completed guide. I know I might be missing something.

Drop a comment in the comment section below if there are better ways to secure your smart devices from spying eyes. This is the bare minimum you can do to prevent spying eyes and ears on you and your family. Privacy is a sacred thing and that should be the nr1. Because without privacy you have no private life. And only opens doors to tyranny and we should not want that. The other thing you could consider is to enable a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service for your smart devices, it just adds another layer of protection.

 

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