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CHIPS Articles: Staying Safe in a "Smart" World

Staying Safe in a "Smart" World
By Department of Homeland Security - October 16, 2017
Is your refrigerator putting your home network at risk? We live in a world of “smart” objects, where things like thermostats, coffee pots, and refrigerators are connected to the internet. We carry around smart devices like phones, and we even wear them in the form of fitness trackers and medical devices. This complicated internet ecosystem offers us tremendous benefits, but it also poses unique risks.

As technology continues to evolve and advance through all aspects of our lives, it is critical to use internet-connected devices in safe and secure ways. These devices pose various privacy and security challenges because they collect personal information about the user which could potentially be accessed by others. The user is responsible for understanding what information these devices collect and how it is being shared.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), and DHS is joining with its partners across the country to highlight the importance of cybersecurity to individuals of all ages and all segments of the community.

Follow the simple tips below to secure any object or device that connects to the internet and sends or receives data automatically:

  • Read privacy policies and know what information an app or device will collect to determine if you really want to share such information.
  • Keep any device that connects to the Internet free from viruses and malware by updating the software regularly.
  • Understand privacy settings to control how much information a device or app will display publicly about you.
  • Set strong passwords, and change them regularly.

DHS is doing its part to make the internet safer for everyone by participating in NCSAM. Learn more about NCSAM 2017 and how you can be cyber safe at https://www.dhs.gov/ncsam.

To receive cybersecurity tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect.Campaign.

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