IoT Security: Securing your privacy with a VPN

IoT Security: Securing your privacy with a VPN

Internet of Things is a broad umbrella concept that covers any and every device which is/ can be connected to a Wi-Fi network. It spans a broad range of units – starting from the basic smartphones which can go on the internet to smart ovens that can simply be controlled from the comfort of a mobile phone.

With the passing of every single day, the canopy that covers these devices grow bigger. While that means more convenience in running every aspects of our lives, it is not without its own concerns.

Understanding IoT

The original design of the IoT network is to have as many everyday devices as possible connect to the internet. By so doing, these devices can be made to communicate to one another through internet traffic sent to one another. This way, every unit in, let’s say a home, could be made to work together in improving our day-to-day activities.

Going by this model, every single device we own could soon be made to know us better than we might think.

A series of smart home detectors could soon come on board which will allow you remotely control certain things in the home. This control can be exercised on anything from the sprinkler systems in the yard to the cameras inside the home.

Your various shopping apps could start suggesting the best purchases to you, based on your browsing habits that has been made available to them. That is not to mention your refrigerator being able to determine an ideal diet for you, telling you when you are low on supplies and even ordering them.

When you look at this form of operational model, one thing is certain – there is the need for a lot of data. This has a lot of benefits as has been stated above. But then, what happens when IoT starts invading your privacy in ways you never imagined?

The sad reality of IoT

Smart devices may be all that, but they don’t come without their flaws.

Think about the kinds of financial, economic and social manipulations that could occur just because of the large volumes of data that you have allowed to be collected about you.

An insurance company can now have your health records at their beck and call, making it harder to get health coverage when you need it. Employers can also tap into all of these data, look at your browser history and refuse you a job based on that.

Sometimes ago, Huawei phones were banned in the US just because they were tagged listening devices. If that can be found in homes, how much more these devices which are making their way to our homes en masse? Little wonder Siri – the glorified assistant in Apple devices – came under fire sometimes ago for monitoring people’s conversations and recording their shopping habits.

In fact, the possibilities are endless. There might be no control to the access you are giving these units. Even when you limit their access to certain data, who is to tell that they comply with such requests?

Staying safe with IoTs

These units are coming, and there is nothing you can do to stop them. We do not advise shunning them too as they promise to make our lives a better place. What you can do, though, is step up privacy measures you have put in place.

The most recommended thing to do is to run your IoT devices on a VPN network. That way, you can add encryption to your data to make sure not just anyone is seeing what these devices are collecting.

With a VPN on your router, you will also be able to anonymize yourself on the internet, making it impossible to get identified with the stream of data your devices are running through one another.

To get started, you can download a VPN directly onto personal devices like smartphones and computers from where the smart devices will be run, since the smart units can’t run such a software directly. Now, you can sleep easy at night without the fear of your smart bulb casting a watchful eye over you.