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JACKSON COUNTY, OREGON
10 S OAKDALE AVE
MEDFORD, OR 97501
November 29, 2022
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Are your "smart" devices cyber-safe?

Don't let your smart home become a criminal's playground

More and more home devices have become "smart."  If not properly secured, these smart devices can be used against you

Nowadays, thermostats, doorbells, door locks, security cameras, lighting, and more can be connected to the internet and controlled via apps or voice commands. These advances in technology, collectively called the "Internet of Things (loT)," are convenient, but they also pose new risks. Hackers could spy on you through your own security cams, eavesdrop via the microphone in your voice assistant, unlock your doors, or enslave your IoT devices into "botnets" they use to attack organizations across the globe. 

Tips to keep your smart home safe:

  • Secure your Wi-Fi network. Your home’s wireless router is the gateway for cybercriminals to access all your connected devices. Be sure you have changed the default admin password on the router to something unique and hard to guess. Require a password to connect to the network. Make sure that key security features (like a firewall, NAT, and encryption) have not been disabled. If you're not sure how to do this, see this tip-sheet or contact your internet service provider or router manufacturer for instructions. 
  • Keep your devices updated.  To fend off hackers, it's important to stay current with the latest software and firmware updates for all your devices, including your router. If you have the option to enable automatic updates, turn it on. Some IoT devices, especially low-cost devices, don't have any way to update the software and may contain serious security flaws. Consider replacing these with a newer model that can be updated automatically.
  • Rein in your apps.  Most smart devices have an associated mobile app. Many apps gather your personal information, which could put your identity and privacy at risk. Be cautious when downloading new apps and don't give them excess permissions.  Check your app permissions in Settings and follow the rule of "least privilege.” Does the app really need access to your Contacts, Location, Camera, or Microphone? 
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