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Six tips to make sure your connected devices are secure

/ 06:15 PM October 26, 2020
20201026 Home devices

Connected devices need to be secured with safe passwords to prevent hackers from stealing your personal data. Image: IStock/RossHelen via AFP Relaxnews.

Connected devices are highly vulnerable. They can allow hackers to get into your local networks and, worse case scenario, be controlled from a distance. As an increasing number of households set up smart speakers, voice assistants and connected home appliances, here are some key guidelines to protect your personal and home data.

Mind your passwords

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Make sure that all your connected objects passwords are complex enough. That means they have to comprise capital and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters. Each password also has to be unique. The rule is to never use the same password for two different devices.

Activate two-factor authentication

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If some of your devices offer a two-factor authentication system, activate it. This system allows your connection to be authenticated through a code sent by text or email, on top of the traditional password. It makes it far more difficult for third parties to access your devices even if the person manages to get your passwords.

Secure your Wi-Fi network

Passwords for your router or internet modem at home also need to be hacker-proof. Make sure that you choose the WPA2 protocol (or WPA3 for latest models). And don’t forget to update your router’s firmware, even though most models do it automatically.

Set up a virtual private network (VPN)

For increased safety, you can opt for an encrypted and safe virtual private network. It will not only reduce hacking risks of your home network and its devices, but also simplify safely connecting from a distance to access your data or modify the network’s parameters.

Don’t forget the updates

From firmwares to actual devices or dedicated applications, you always need to run the latest updates. Most updates correct more or less important security breaches.

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Deactivate the connected devices you don’t use

Every connected object that remains turned on is by definition vulnerable. It is, therefore, highly recommended to think about switching off any device when not in use. This goes without saying during the night, but also whenever the devices do not need to be connected to the network. CC

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TOPICS: data privacy, home devices, passwords, personal data, security, VPN
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