Just like a smartphone, laptop or PC, smart devices can be hacked to leave your data and privacy at risk. Very rarely, devices have been controlled by somebody else managing the device, often to frighten the victim.
- Children’s GPS and fitness trackers (BBC News)
- Security cameras could be hijacked (BBC News)
- Smart home gadgets in domestic abuse warning (BBC News)
Setting up your device
Before you buy, check reviews of the product and the manufacturer. For information about how to set up a specific device, refer to the manufacturer’s documentation. This may be a printed manual or ‘getting started’ guide that came with the device, on the
Check the default settings
Some devices may be insecure when they are first switched on, so you’ll need to take some quick steps to protect yourself.
- If the device comes with a password that looks easily guessable (for example admin or 00000), change it.
Managing your account
If the device or app offers 2-step verification (2SV), turn it on. 2SV provides a way of ‘double checking’ that you really are the person you are claiming to be, and makes it much harder for criminals to access your online accounts, even if they know your password.
Keeping your device updated
For each of your smart devices, you should:
- switch on the option to install automatic updates (if available)
- install any manual updates when prompted
- make sure your device’s operating system is up to date
If something goes wrong
If you become aware of an incident that’s been reported and you think your device is affected:
- check the National Cyber Security Centre and the Information Commissioner’s Office for advice
- if you think someone has malicious control/access of a device in your home, you should perform a factory reset
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