While Internet-connected devices are our window on the world, we don’t realize that for cybercriminals it could be their window into ours if we don’t secure our devices. It only takes a minute to change a password, and the longer it is left unchanged, the greater the chance that a device will be compromised.
Hacking into a device’s camera offers those with malicious intent access to our images, our most intimate moments, our identities – and the people we want most to protect.
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, offers some simple steps consumers can take to prevent your Internet-connected devices being hijacked.
1. Start by securing the device that provides access to the Internet – your router:
- Change the default administrator password (it’s easy for an attacker to find out the standard username and password set by the manufacturer for a device).
- Ensure that it’s using WPA2 encryption.
- Switch off SSID, so that the name of your router isn’t broadcast to anyone within range.
2. Change the default password for any other devices you use – baby monitors, webcams, printers, etc.
3. Use a security solution that offers Webcam Protection for your PC cameras.
4. Ensure your mobile devices are fully protected with security software. Cyber attacks aimed at mobile devices are increasing rapidly and it’s no longer just our laptops and desktop PCs that need protecting.
5. Only connect to secure Wi-Fi hotspots. When you’re browsing the Internet in a coffee shop, you may be connected to a hacked network, allowing hackers to sniff your web traffic and get into your device.
6. Be aware of rogue apps. In particular, check the permissions that an app asks for when you’re installing it. Be suspicious if it’s asking to access functionality that doesn’t match the purpose of the app – some apps may ask to access your images, contacts and other aspects on your phone.