New IoT devices for the holidays? Mind your privacy & security!

Cell phone that says IOT, connected to icons of TV, lights, washing machine

Are you getting or giving new Internet of Things (IoT) devices—things like smart home assistants, smart appliances, gaming systems, and wearable watches and trackers—this holiday season? If so, follow and share these basic privacy and security precautions:

  • Change the default password for the device.
  • Set a unique password for each device.
  • Disable features you don’t use.
  • Change default “wake up” words if you use voice activation.
  • Choose privacy settings for yourself; don’t accept the defaults.
  • Delete or erase stored recordings on a regular basis.
  • Turn off voice purchasing, or set a purchase password to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized purchases.
  • Keep the device software up-to-date. 
  • Use two-factor authentication for connected service accounts (such as Google or Amazon) whenever it is available.

See Secure Your Internet of Things Devices on Safe Computing for more best practices and links to privacy settings help information for popular smart speakers.