Smart products can enhance our lives, but there can also be risks.

Copyright © 2018 Consumers International and Internet Society

for potential security and privacy issues before buying.

More of us are buying smart products for the home that connect to the Internet, like personal smart assistants, fitness trackers, toys, and home security systems.

These devices can help to organise family life, give new insights into our health and wellbeing and let us monitor things in the home from a distance. However, many of today’s smart products are rushed to market with little consideration for basic security and privacy protections. This means that someone with minimal hacking skills could spy on you, steal your personal information, or even communicate directly with people in your home. These products can also act as a gateway to other smart devices and gadgets in your home.
These ConnectSMART guidelines will help you make informed choices about the technology you use in your daily lives. But it doesn’t end there. Consumers International and the Internet Society are working with manufacturers, retailers and regulators to create safer and more privacy respecting products.

We want to see all consumers getting the best from digital without having to compromise on safety and security.





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Search for the product online and see if reviews or news articles have identified security or privacy issues. Check whether you can make your device more secure by changing the password and adjusting the privacy settings. Confirm if the device receives regular software updates so any security vulnerabilities can be fixed.

strong, unique passwords for each device.

Generic default passwords can be easily identified and allow attackers to gain access. Set strong, unique passwords for each device, service and your home router. The longer the password the better; mix upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters to increase the strength.

settings for maximum security and privacy.

Many devices and services come with minimal security protection by default and collect significant amounts of important information about you - so change your settings for greater security and privacy. Also plan to reset your device regularly. If attackers do access your device, malicious code is often stored in memory, a reset will clear it. If you become aware of an incident that may affect your device, visit the manufacturer’s website or contact the retailer where you bought it for information on what to do next.

update software

If the device or app has an auto-update feature, turn it on. Find out how to check for software updates for each device and do it once a month. Most companies will release updates when they patch security vulnerabilities. Also accept updates for the apps on your mobile phone that control your device.

features you don't need and the device when not in use

Many features on your device can continue to monitor you even when you don’t expect or need them to. To avoid this, disable cameras, microphones, or location tracking apps when you are not actively using them. And, if you are not using the device, turn it off.

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