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Blog > Identity Theft > Smart Devices: An Invitation for Identity Thieves to Enter Victims’ Homes
 May 11, 2020

Smart Devices: An Invitation for Identity Thieves to Enter Victims’ Homes

A woman standing in a home kitchen touches a smart speaker.

Smart homes are not always a smart idea

In the rush to fill our homes with intelligent devices ranging from voice-activated assistants to connected coffee cups to smart TVs, we seem oblivious to the security risks.

You wouldn’t jump in a car that didn’t come from a reputable manufacturer or lacked a valid inspection sticker, and you need to adopt this mentality when it comes to smart devices in your home. We all need to be mindful of the security risks of filling our lives with a plethora of intelligent products.

These smart devices are often, in reality, smart spies and are a conduit to cybercriminals accessing your personal information and stealing your identity. They create a host of new entry points into your home, which gives cybercriminals more opportunities to steal your data. Therefore, you need to take steps to close every window and door into your digital home so that your privacy and identity remain under lock and key, safe from hackers.

How to create a safe smart home for your family

  • First up, make sure to create a separate network for your smart products. That means if hackers gain access through a connected device, they can’t access your computer and the treasure chest of valuable personal information it contains because it’s connected to a different network. This is easily done by accessing the Wi-Fi settings from your provider. Of course, make sure each network is protected by a different password!
  • Once that is done, you need to create a strong and unique password for every single, smart device. You may need the help of a password manager to help with this process, as it’s impossible for most of us to remember every password.
  • Then go into the settings and activate the privacy options. Make sure that the manufacturer can’t share your data with others. Check these settings regularly in case they have defaulted back to open settings! Also, update software as soon as a release is available as these often include patches to fix security flaws.
  • Many smart devices have a camera or microphone built-in and these are always on. So, heed the advice of many, including the FBIand cover the camera when it’s not in use. You should also turn off the microphone on intelligent devices and regularly ask any voice-activated products to delete your data. Treat this step as part of your routine akin to brushing your teeth every night.

The convenience offered by connected devices has changed the way we all live. As you and your family continue to incorporate smart devices, you must make sure that you are not providing easy access to sensitive information that can then be exploited by cybercriminals. By following these steps, you can enjoy the myriad of benefits without worrying about the risks.

Keep your information private

IDShield can partner with you to make sure your information stays secure and that you and your family’s privacy is protected. Rather than waiting and hoping that nothing goes awry, why not make sure that you are in control and that there are no open doors or windows inviting cybercriminals in!

IDShield is a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”). LegalShield provides access to identity theft protection and restoration services. IDShield plans are available at individual or family rates. For complete terms, coverage and conditions, please see an identity theft plan. All Licensed Private Investigators are licensed in the state of Oklahoma. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations.

ESS

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