With kids back to school there are a lot of things to worry about. Getting them to class in time, making sure they have something to eat, and their homework is in their backpack. Unlike in our youth, kids have technology at their fingertips and are quick to explore the cyber world on their phones, but are they staying safe?
We’ve talked a lot about what you can do on a smaller scale to keep your home and personal IoT (Internet of Things) devices secure, but what about your home network? While it might not seem like it, your home has its own network infrastructure. Most people assume that if their network is up and running and they can connect to the internet, then everything is okay. Like your car, assuming that it is running fine is not the best way to handle it. You need to maintain your network and check up on it regularly. So you are probably asking, what exactly does that entail?
It is probably safe to say that the majority of us carry around some type of smart device. Whether it is an iPhone, Galaxy, Pixel, Note, or Jitterbug, these devices play a huge role in our daily lives. We use these “phones” more for interacting with the internet than to talk, on the phone, to real live people. We routinely access almost all of our personal information including email, social media, and even confidential information such as banking or business from them. Not to mention our phones often act as the “remote control” that gives us the ability to control the smart devices in our IoT (Internet of Things) network (i.e. lightbulbs, garage doors, security systems, etc.). What’s true is that most of us have setup a screen unlock code or pattern to access our devices, apps, and data in an effort to secure our information. We also rarely let it out of our sight in order to feel like the information is safe, but that’s really not the case.
With the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life a personal assistant surely would come in handy, right? While this may not be fiscally responsible, maybe a voice assistant would be. In our last article, The Ping: Voice Assistants, we discussed how a voice assistant can manage a lot of your needs. Things such as the weather for the day, the traffic to work and your grocery list. However, sometimes just managing your house is what you need the most help with. Are you aware that they can do that too and what they are really managing?
We have all seen those commercials with an actor speaking to a voice assistant and making jokes. They seem pretty catchy and entertaining and elude to ultimately resolving all of their day-to-day issues. While that seems like it would be life changing, do we really know how these devices work? What can they do?
So you might have heard the buzzwords “2FA” or “Multi-factor Authentication” thrown around a lot lately. The use of 2FA has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Apple has started prompting their users to activate this more advanced form of security. Your child’s Xbox Live account is now also prompting them to activate and use 2FA. Software you use at work, particularly credit card processing software, may also require card access or a 6 digit code. So that begs the question: what is multi-factor authentication?
How nice is it to come home to a well-lit house and the cool A/C on a hot summer day? Smart devices seem to be the easy fix for the little things in life with all of our busy schedules taking up so much of our time. While some of these devices are being put into place to help keep our homes secure, we might be inviting more danger in without even knowing it.
Recent studies have found that almost any Tom, Dick or Harry can hack a smart device within 30 minutes. All they need is access to the internet and the make and model of the device in question. “Using these devices in our lab, we were able to play loud music through a baby monitor, turn off a thermostat and turn on a camera remotely, much to the concern of our researchers who themselves use these products.” – Dr. Yossi Oren