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Smart Device Security

The Federal Communications Commission is introducing a proposal to create a voluntary cybersecurity labeling program that would provide consumers with clear information about the security of their Internet-enabled devices, commonly called "smart" or "Internet of Things" devices. Any device that has internet access, sensors and can communicate over the network to trigger actions can be considered a smart or IoT device.

Internet-enabled devices include many of our everyday electronics and products, including cars, appliances, video game consoles, smart speakers and TV’s, home automation, security systems, and so on. These devices may have vulnerability issues that are not completely visible to the consumer. The cybersecurity labeling program will help put security at the top of the list for smart device manufacturers and consumers as more and more devices are being developed.

Cybercriminals may leverage your home network to gain access to these devices. Help protect yourself and your family by observing some basic guidelines and implementing the following mitigations on your home network.

  • Change your smart device’s factory security settings from the default password. This is one of the most important steps to take in the protection of internet-enabled devices. According to NIST guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and create a unique password for each of your smart devices.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Many connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved – gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and learn to just say "no" to requests or pop-ups that don't make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
  • Secure your network. Properly secure the wireless network you use to connect Internet-enabled devices. For more information on how you can secure your network, see tips from the National Security Agency's Cybersecurity Information page. 

Please visit our Cybersecurity Center for more security tips and information!