Ho Ho Home For Christmas? Tips For Avoiding Tech Terrors This Festive Season

With Christmas fast approaching, many of us will be hoping to find some new tech under the tree. From innovative gadgets that spark creativity to interactive devices that bring families together, tech toys can add an extra layer of excitement and wonder to the festivities. However, new tech can be particularly susceptible to opportunistic cybercriminals.

Following on from their Black Friday tips, cybersecurity experts at Keeper Security aim to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding personal data and privacy as we navigate the festivities this year.

“As we embrace the joy of gift-giving during the holiday season, it’s critical to recognise the inherent risks that come with tech gadgets. From data collection to vulnerabilities, these devices can be a serious existential threat to the privacy and security of children and families,” said Darren Guccione, CEO and Co-founder of Keeper Security. “Everyone should take concrete steps to secure their home networks and tech gadgets to ensure the magic of the holiday season doesn’t compromise your online safety.”

So, how can we protect our new (and existing) tech this Christmas?

Avoid Default Passwords: Most IoT devices arrive with factory-preset passwords that are meant to be changed immediately. Create a strong and unique password for each device’s related account using uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. A password manager will help generate complex passwords and securely store them in an encrypted vault, simplifying the process.

Secure Your WiFI Network: Ensure your WiFi network is protected with a strong password, change the network name so it’s not the default, turn on your router’s encryption which you can enable in settings, and regularly update your router’s software to install new security patches. Be sure to change your passwords once any guests have left too!

Review Privacy Settings: When checking privacy settings for new toys, ensure data collection is limited and complies with regulations, and review permissions to safeguard against unnecessary access to features like cameras or microphones. Enable data deletion options where available.

Update Firmware and Software: Ensure your smart toys are running the latest firmware and software updates. Manufacturers regularly release updates to patch security flaws that could be exploited by cybercriminals. Go into the settings to manually update or turn on automatic updates.

Use Parental Controls: By activating and customising parental controls, you can manage access to age-appropriate content, limit online interactions and mitigate potential risks associated with bad actors seeking to bully or exploit your child.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication: Implementing MFA is a proactive measure to ensure that only authorised users can control and interact with a toy or device, minimising the risk of unauthorised access or tampering by malicious actors.

Communicate With Your Kids: Research conducted by Keeper found that 30% of parents have never spoken to their children about cybersecurity. Open the lines of communication with your family about practising good cyber hygiene, only engaging with age-appropriate content and establishing healthy limits on screen time.

To mitigate the privacy, safety and security risks associated with new tech gifts, it’s essential for consumers to be aware of the data practices of each tech toy, update device settings to enhance security and stay informed about potential vulnerabilities. By staying vigilant and informed, we can ensure that the holiday spirit extends to a secure and privacy-conscious digital experience for ourselves and our loved ones.

 

The post Ho Ho Home For Christmas? Tips For Avoiding Tech Terrors This Festive Season first appeared on IT Security Guru.

The post Ho Ho Home For Christmas? Tips For Avoiding Tech Terrors This Festive Season appeared first on IT Security Guru.


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