It is exciting to see so many off today’s new electronic innovations: artificial intelligence (AI) products, innovative apps, smart-home technologies, and more!
We have seen an exponential growth in internet-connected gadgets across multiple industries over the last year. While there are many advantages in using these new technologies, there are also a lot of risks to consider before you use these recently released tech products.
Privacy, confidentiality and cyber security concerns are no longer limited to computers. If you have a device that has an IP address and is connected to the internet (a home security system, Smart Car, mobile phone, IP camera, etc.), you need to be aware of how these devices can expose you to hackers.
Here are some tips to protect you against malicious online attacks:
Find out from the internet connected-device’s developer, manufacturer or creator what types of security processes have been developed to reduce the risk of security-related defects or hacks. A reputable company like Microsoft uses a security process to ensure they are administering the absolute best practices when developing a new product or software. On the other hand, smaller or start-up tech companies may not be as sophisticated as Microsoft or Apple, so learn as much as you can about their security polices.
Ask what level of encryption or security layer the technology offers if it will be used to transit or receive sensitive data. Encryption is very important, especially if you have personal information you do not want the public to access. While no companies are hack-proof, a company that has multi-level security systems or a high-level of encryption offered will help minimize exposure and make it more challenging for a hacker to break into technology. It is better to find out about this before your information has been compromised.
Ask companies how they will protect, use and share your information. This is very important with newer voice-activated and AI-enabled IoT devices. For example, there are digital assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and one of the newest home robots, Kuri, which can be purchased for $700. These devices are designed to learn about you, and make your life easier and more entertaining, but they are also programmed to help other companies sell you things. When it comes to cybercrimes, the information hackers may be interested in is where you live, your purchase history, and even information about your family.
Newer technologies offer us a better quality of life and improve our overall service experience. Technology gives us conveniences we’ve never had before and entertainment we thought impossible. However, we need to discover how these technologies will impact our safety and security. If these things are important, and for most people they are, then knowing these basic guidelines will help you decide whether or not to accept the risks associated with IoT devices.