A July 7 article in Computerworld detailed The Internet of Things: Your Worst Nightmare.
Author Preston Gralla described the nightmare that would ensue when all of our home media devices, appliances, and even our electric (well, battery powered) toothbrushes are connected to a wireless access point (WAP) router. Now I haven’t had the problem of having a WAP burn out (ever), but nonetheless, his article discusses what happens when each device has to be authenticated to the new wireless network. After reading his article, I’m not sure that I want to be involved with IoT, but more and more of our electronics are. It’s just a matter of time before most of our household devices are connected to the Internet.
So what’s the one thing you should do if your devices are part of IoT? You need to make sure that your WAP is secured with a nearly unbreakable password or passphrase. Way too many users bring wireless routers into their home, connect their devices to it, and never enable the WPA2 security. And even if they do, they usually just keep the default password (here I’m presuming it’s a simple password) or create their own simple password (“password”, “12345678”, etc.). Full disclosure here – my ISP-provided WAP came with a default password, and I kept it. But this password has SIXTEEN characters, randomly generated, and includes alphas and numbers. So given that I determined it was unbreakable (well, www.thepasswordmeter.com did that for me), I kept it. But I certainly would have changed it if it had been something simple, and if yours is, you should change it, too.
You just never know when your refrigerator is going to get hacked and start melting your ice cream!