Protecting Your Smart Gadgets



            It is a known fact that Wi-Fi enabled smart gadgets are on the rise in our homes and in the future pretty much every device will be able to connect to the internet. While this offers us a wide variety of benefits, one must ask, “how protected are they from hacking?” The answer is disturbing. These types of gadgets offer very little security and hackers everywhere are using this to their advantage. Recently, a network called Mirai, staged one of the largest net attacks ever seen. What can be done to avoid possible hacking of your gadgets at home? Companies such as Symantec, BitDefender, and Intel have the answer. They have created new routers that can boost the security. This is great news because “pretty soon everything will be connected one way or another and managed by a smartphone app,” said Mr. Balan. “You won’t be able to avoid it.”
            To jump-start this technology, the US Federal Trade Commission has created a competition to create tools that we can add to our home network that can protect these devices from attack. There is a $25,000 reward for the best entrants. Security for these devices has to start at the network level,” said Gareth Lockwood from Symantec. “There’s no other way to do it.” Current home routers offer security systems already. However, they are pretty simple and provide very little protection from hacking. At CES, Symantec unveiled their Norton Core, that merely replaces the router supplied by an ISP and offers great security. BitDefender produced The Box, which will work with a router and policies traffic as it flows in the network.
            Aside from boosting security, these devices also provide other benefits. Parents will be able to set how long their devices can be used and what content they have access to. Some of these devices also can pause the internet for everyone in their house (for when their kids act up.) The future holds many new changes for how we use technology in our homes and Wi-Fi enabled devices will soon be an inescapable thing. Controlling who can access them as well as boosting their security will be a must as more of our devices will become Wi-Fi enabled and able to be controlled by our phones. It is time to upgrade your security!

BBC News, “CES 2017: New routers defend smart homes against hacks”, Mark Ward, 7 January 2017



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