IoT is convenient and exciting, but what about privacy and data security?

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Internet safety is easily overlooked when it comes to the amount of IoT (Internet of Things) related technology available on the market today. Ok, so if you’re not aware of what that is, it’s another buzzword that you would have heard thrown about, but if you haven’t, here’s what it is:

Smart World

Any item that connects via the internet or your home network for the sake of remote control, convenience, automation or for communication (deice to device) is IoT. As long as it requires the internet or your home network for communication, then you are using a form of IoT.  For the sake of this article, we’ll concentrate on home users, as you can also have smart cities or a smart world where many things talk to each other over a network.  With IoT, you can have a system where your alarm goes off at 5am to wake you up, it activates your kettle downstairs to start making your coffee, whilst having your coffee, you are notified about how long you have left before you can still make the next train, you get the idea?

Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices and that means more attention will be drawn towards it or it will become the norm over the next few years. You may have heard of home security cameras, automated heating systems, just to mention a couple; they are awesome, in fact they make life easier, for example I have a remote heating system which activates when I’m within a certain proximity from my house, but as simple as it sounds, the data from that could mean someone malicious can tell when i’m home and when i’m not home.  It sounds scary but that’s the reality of the way technology works.

So as much as you feel like the security camera at home is only monitoring you and working for your safety, you have think about what can be done using your data and by whom? You have to begin to think about your safety.  A quick chat with one of the research officers at F-Secure reveals that the future is heading towards ransom attacks where your data could be accessed, encrypted and/or controlled until you fork out certain amount of money. So when getting excited about IoT, also think about safety.

This brings me to mention F-Secure Sense; a hub or simply call it a security box/device that connects to your network at the root to help keep anything connected to your network, secure. For example whether you have your laptop, smartphone, washing machine, fridge etc. connected, they will have to go through Sense first in order to stay secure.  Some may say, well I can install individual software to monitor each device, but what happens when you have a washing machine or a fridge that doesn’t allow you to install a software to keep it safe?

It comes with a an app for your smartphone to keep track of your network access and traffic, very easy to install and doesn’t cost a arm and leg to buy.  Read more about F-Secure Sense here.  In the mean time, if you have a broadband connection at home, it’s worth looking into the network level security option available to keep your date safe and still have some control over your privacy.

 

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About Author

I love gadgets and technology, so i write about them. +Tomi Adebayo