Just What is the “Internet of Things?”

October 14, 2014

You may have heard the term "Internet of Things" used a lot recently, but what exactly does it mean, and what do you need to know from a cyber security perspective?

A picture of a man and woman sitting on a couch. The man is holding up a remote control in one of his hands.

The Internet of Things is made up of smart devices that can connect to each other and the Internet. These devices range from thermostats that can be adjusted from your smart phone to pedometers that automatically post your walking statistics online. After initial setup, most of these devices are designed to automatically send and receive information from the Internet on a constant basis.

These technologies are becoming quite popular because of their convenience and, in some cases, their potential to save you money. Unfortunately, cyber criminals have also started turning their attention to these ‘smart' devices.  In December 2013, a cyber-attack was discovered that involved more than 750,000 malicious email communications being sent by more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets, including at least one incident in which a refrigerator was allegedly used to launch cyber attacks.

It is important, therefore, for all Canadians to be aware of the vulnerabilities that our digital world presents, no matter the device or the location.  Since many of these devices connect to the Internet via your home network, here are some simple steps that you can take to help keep it and your other devices secure:

Being cyber savvy will allow you to enjoy the new world of connected devices while helping you stay safe online.


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