Smart devices have opened the world to us in many ways. But like any other door, they can be open invitations to criminals to steal our personal and private information. 

There are three primary areas in which cyber criminals use smart devices to access confidential information:  Wireless equipment, smartphones/tablets, connected cars. Using malware, hackers can turn devices into remotely-controlled “bots”. These “bots” can be used to spread viruses or steal our personal data.

Here are some tips on how to keep yourself protected while using smart devices:

  • change the default usernames and passwords for all devices that connect to your home Wi-Fi.
  • Use up-to-date security software on your home computer and connected devices can also increase your protection against cybercrime. 
  • Enable a lock screen password when securing your devices. Most users can find out how to do this by accessing their device’s general setting functions.
  • Learn what personal information is being collected and why it’s needed when downloading apps.
  • Update your device’s operating system can also help protect your privacy and prevent cyber attacks.
  • Turn off  your car’s “smart” functions when they are not in use, and check with your car dealership to ensure the installation of these functions are safe and secure. Newer car models are being installed with computer systems that have the ability to provide drivers with hands-free calling, GPS, and entertainment applications. Security breaches in cars are becoming more common as hackers can access personal information, such as your location.

Remember: If you can access personal data remotely, a cybercriminal can too!

Source: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/blg/pst-20170127-en.aspx