Tips to Thwart Cyber Crime

By Melissa Neilson
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The use of smart devices is projected to reach 50 billion by 2020, according to Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group. With so many smart devices and the availability of easy to use hacking software, home-targeted cybercrime is a growing problem.


Here are tips on how you can protect yourself from cyber scum:

1. Change the default setting on your smart device.

Manufacturers add convenience by shipping devices with default settings enabled. When enabling a new smart device, change the default settings at initial start-up.

2. Update passwords at least once a year.

Multiple passwords are unavoidable. Make sure to change your passwords each year. Never use names, address or birthdays, or easy to guess passwords. While it is easy for you to remember, it's also easy to hack. It is equivalent to leaving the key under your mat.

3. Add an extra authentication protocol.

Bulk up your security with an extra step for gaining access. The added security layer could be a one-time pin you receive by text. Or, it could be biometric authentication, which relies on a unique thumbprint, eye-scan or user's unique keystrokes.

4. Check your smart devices for firmware updates.

While updates are annoying, and notification of updates equally as annoying, keeping your software loaded with the latest fixes helps keep out hackers.

5. If you experience a security breach, immediately take action.

Update passwords, notify credit card companies and file a police report. Never use public Wi-Fi networks and don't keep smart devices on the same network as your PC. This will minimize hacking across different devices.

Be as vigilant about smart device security as they are with credit cards, computers and locking the house when you're away.


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