SPF Advises Singaporeans To Take Measures Against Smart Devices Hacks

As we live in the digital age, smart devices are increasingly becoming key fixtures in our homes. They may come in the form of a TV, CCTV or even a vacuum cleaner.

However, they’re potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can compromise our privacy and safety.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) thus advises Singaporeans to secure their smart devices in light of increasing cyber attacks around the world.

Smart devicesSource

We can do so by taking multiple steps to ensure that hackers can’t access our smart devices.

Smart devices at home may have vulnerabilities

In an advisory on 25 Jan, the SPF highlighted the importance of securing smart home devices such as Internet-Protocol (IP) cameras, smart TVs and digital locks.

They said IP cameras are commonly used to monitor properties, family and pets.

While these devices are remotely accessible, allowing users to get live video feeds, the cameras are also vulnerable to cybercriminals if default passwords are not changed.

IP cameraSource

Besides IP cameras, the SPF said other devices like digital locks, smart home hubs and smart TVs have vulnerabilities as well.

This could result in privacy breaches, as footage can be leaked online or personal information may be stolen.

Cybercrime prevention measures

The SPF provided some ways to secure smart devices.

For example, one can create a guest network for Wi-Fi routers to ensure that important devices are not at risk, should the guest network be compromised.

Another measure is to change a router and smart device’s default name, which is usually their make and model.

Hackers may be able to search up default usernames and passwords to access networks.

Smart devicesSource

Another way to maintain a home’s privacy is to turn off unused device features like microphones on a smart TV. If hacked, such features may be used to listen in on private conversations.

Furthermore, passwords can be used to secure IP cameras.

Such devices may also have the option to encrypt data that’s transmitted via the internet.

The SPF recommends that users enable such features.

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) launched the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (CLS), which helps identify more secure devices. You can learn about this scheme via this link.

Being proactive in cybersecurity

While it’s alarming that the convenient smart devices we are used to at home may pose cybersecurity risks, it’s a reminder to ensure that measures are in place to maintain our privacy.

Hopefully, with the help of efforts like CLS, Singaporeans will be able to make more informed decisions.

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Featured image adapted from Instagram.