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How to Protect your connected device from getting hacked?

Before we go to bed, we always ensure to lock the doors and windows to keep us and our house safe from outside threats. The same can be said about your smartphone which can be taken advantage of by hackers. Over time, with the purchase of new devices such as a thermostat, smart speaker, and fitness watch, we are expanding our digital ecosystem. Most often than not, those devices connect with your smartphone to receive commands. This opens an opportunity for hackers and malicious actors to steal your private and confidential information. It gives new entryways for cybercriminals into your life and your personal data. Antivrus software like McAfee might offer maximum protection to meet your antivirus and privacy needs.

How to protect new devices from unauthorized access?

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

Out of the box, most routers are either not secured or use a generic password like “admin,” making it easy for hackers to poke around and access devices that are connected to your router. So the first thing you should do is secure your Wi-Fi network with a strong password. How you do that varies slightly by device, but the basics are the same; here’s how to get started.

Many routers also use a model-specific name that hackers may be able to easily identify. So consider changing the SSID (Service Set Identifier), which is just the name of your Wi-Fi network (like PCMag_Home).

Manage Your Account Passwords

Now that you have secured the Wi-Fi network, you need to also protect the individual devices and services that connect to it. Many smart devices are controlled through a connected mobile app, and you’ll need to set up an account with each one. Using the same password for everything is convenient, but it’s a security nightmare. If one of those accounts is breached and the password exposed, hackers now potentially have the keys to all the other accounts on which you used that password. Just ask Disney+ and Nest camera users. Instead, use a random password generator to produce hard-to-guess codes and a password manager to remember them for you

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Strong passwords are one thing, but you can take it one step further by enabling two-factor authentication on the services that support it. Those accounts will then require your password, plus a second form of authentication—usually a six-digit code sent via text message or generated via an authenticator app like Google Authenticator or Authy. So even if a hacker gets their hands on your password, they won’t be able to log in to your account without that six-digit code.

Many smart home devices support 2FA, including Amazon Echo, Arlo, Google Nest, Ring, and many more. Our guide runs through who has it and how to set it up.

Update Firmware

Firmware is the low-level software that powers your router and other Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets. Companies roll out bug fixes and new features over the internet, and many devices automatically update when connected to Wi-Fi. Registering your smart device with the manufacturer may help ensure these updates get to your gadgets.

However, there are still many devices that require you to proactively tap or click that “update” button to get the latest goodies and security patches. Don’t ignore these updates; configure your device to automatically update or set a reminder to check for updates regularly. Running older firmware versions could leave your device vulnerable to hackers looking to exploit unpatched flaws. 

Replace Outdated Routers

Chances are, you’ve probably updated your smartphone and maybe your laptop in the last few years. But what about your router? Has it been gathering dust on a shelf for far too long? If your internet performance is not yet suffering, the security of your connected devices almost certainly is. An aging router means aging security protocols, and an easier access point for bad actors.

The newest home internet standard is Wi-Fi 6, which is still just gaining traction in the market. While you won’t need to run out and get a new router immediately, it’s important to keep this in mind since your current device won’t be compatible with the new technology. If you’ve been in the market for a new router, check out PCMag’s roundups of the best routers, the best gaming routers, and the best Wi-Fi mesh networks.

Split Up the Network

A 2019 FBI warning stated that “your fridge and your laptop should not be on the same network. Keep your most private, sensitive data on a separate system from your other IoT devices.” After all, hackers aren’t usually trying to access your refrigerator; they typically want to break into its wireless network to steal important data from your other devices.

Most routers allow you to create a secondary network for guests, which can also be used for those smart home devices. This not only clears up bandwidth for browsing and streaming, but can potentially separate your connected devices from the more valuable information stored on your laptop and phones. If you do get hacked, the malware that infects your smart home devices is unlikely to make the jump and infect devices on your main network. 

Monitor Your Network

If you’re still concerned about network security, there are specific devices that monitor your network for vulnerabilities. Add a Firewalla to your network, for example, and you can see and manage all network devices and their actions. The Bitdefender Box 2 is more expensive, but it protects the IoT devices on your network and also includes unlimited access to Bitdefender software.

What are the common issues in your smartphone?

There are many tactics used by cyber criminals that most people are not aware of. The scope and complexity of such mobile hacks are increasing with each day. Some of the common strategies used by hackers to attack your smartphone are listed below.

  • Hidden Apps – There are multiple apps in your mobile phones at this instant which you have not used for weeks. Due to this, hackers use such dormant apps to communicate with your devices and download and run malware in the background. It could also enable the installation of apps from unknown sources.
  • Fake Apps – When you search for popular apps in your phone’s app store, you may find hundreds of similar apps. Such apps are developed by fraudulent app designers which use your smartphone to collect money through invasive ads, install malware or spyware, and mine cryptocurrency.

What are the steps to protect your smartphone?

  • Stay alert – You should download apps which are provided by trusted, original stores. It is recommended to not click on links to other apps.
  • Avoid spam – Do not click on email links or pop-ups which can contain suspicious or fake attachments. You should delete and block spam emails and texts as soon as possible.
  • Disable and delete – When you are not using any particular app for a long time, you can disable and prevent it from connecting to the internet. On top of that, if you no longer use it, you could remove such apps from your phone and tablet.

The best solution to avoid all sort of this problem you can use the simple solution. By applying antivrus software like McAfee might offer maximum protection to meet your antivirus and privacy needs.

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