NordVPN recently released some new research showing that 92% of Canadians have some kind of IoT device in their household. IoT stands for “Internet of Things” and includes all smart devices, which range from Internet-connected security cameras to smart TVs.
It makes sense. The Internet changed everything and one of the biggest benefits has been convenience. We use it for everything because it’s fast and gives us what we need almost immediately, or at least gets things moving.
The study showed that 9 out of 10 people had at least one IoT device in their homes. There weren’t differences between genders, but there were differences between age groups. The report shows younger people were more likely to have smart speakers and game consoles. It also showed a significant increase in devices with more income, especially with security and other house fixtures.
The study showed “people from Canada and the Netherlands have the best security habits,” but that “the French are generally safer by having fewer devices to begin with.” The reason having devices can put you more at risk is because you’re opening a portal between you and your household’s information with every device you bring online. Manufacturers should obviously make safer and more secure equipment, but our personal data isn’t as much of a priority for them as it is for us.
There are software and services available (like NordVPN) that can protect your data and make it more difficult for companies to build profiles of information around you to sell and share. Beyond fighting viruses and harmful attackers, it also just makes you safer if your data and information are encrypted and unable to be intercepted.
Daniel Markuson from NordVPN has some tips for anyone using smart devices, which are listed below:
- Look into the privacy issues associated with the devices you purchase. Review tech sites that dig into privacy and security issues or buy devices certified by organizations like ioXt.
- Create sophisticated passwords. Use a secure password manager, like NordPass, in case you forget passwords easily.
- Keep devices patched and up to date. Check if your devices update automatically, and, if not, make sure they are running the latest firmware.
- Turn off features you don’t use. Having unused features running in the background opens up unnecessary vulnerabilities or privacy issues.
- Install VPN on your router. VPNs can help prevent man-in-the-middle attacks by encrypting your traffic, covering many of the issues with poor encryption on IoT devices.