As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more and more popular, there are lots of questions being raised about its security. While yes, it’s incredibly convenient to have all your devices connect to one another so seamlessly, the question occurs time and time again about how secure the IoT actually is. Instead of stressing out and avoiding the IoT all together, here are some of the real facts about IoT security and steps you can take to protect your devices, but still utilize this incredible technology.

Is security actually a concern?

While I am the last person who wants to convince you to stop using technology, there have been a few incidents that raise concerns over the security of smart devices. Within the last month, a family in Washington reported that a stranger had hacked into their child’s baby monitor and was speaking to the child at night, making some disturbing statements. Officials looked into the incident and determined that someone had used a laptop or smartphone to hack the monitor. However, the family changed their security preferences and were able to stop the hacker.

This incident is just one of many that have occurred, including various breaches of company databases that led to people’s private information being taken. Just think of the Equifax scandal a few weeks ago. I believe there is a very real security concern, but I also think that it shouldn’t be a deterrent to using new technology. I believe these issues show that more needs to be done to improve security and that we need to be cautious with our devices and information, but not shut ourselves off from technology.

What steps are being taken?

As people realize that cyber warfare is a very real threat, the necessity for greater security measures is quite clear. Companies responsible for creating smart devices are working on finding solutions and many other companies are trying to find ways to protect users’ privacy and information. It’s great news that so many companies are making IoT security a priority, but enough is not being done. Most businesses focus on how many new devices they can sell, rather than making sure current technology is secure.

What can you do?

Even if progress is not being made as quickly as we’d like, there are lots of steps you can take to keep your devices secure. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not using sophisticated passwords that vary for each device. The first place to start is with your WiFi network; if you have a weak password set and never change it, hackers can easily get into the network and connect to any devices using it. Changing your WiFi password once a month is a good place to start, though even more frequently may be advised. You should also regularly change passwords on your other devices and find a secondary source of security you can install that helps prevent people from accessing your networks.