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Internet of Things (IoT) 16 November 2018

El Buen Fin: Tips to Shop Smart

By Israel RosasDirector, Partnerships and Internet Development

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the first edition of the International Internet and Entrepreneurship Forum (FIIE), in Monterrey, Mexico. The event was convened by NIC Mexico and other organizations of the Internet community of Latin America and the Caribbean as part of the activities of INCmty, an entrepreneurial festival with several years of tradition. The intersection between both topics is a fertile ground for reflection, especially in relation to the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

IoT for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Internet has been known as a technology for facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship. The pace of technological development, together with the evolution of the Internet, has given rise to new solutions that seek to make life easier. Such is the case of the various devices connected to the Internet, which form the Internet of Things ecosystem.

Therefore, one of the issues addressed during the Forum was the role of IoT devices in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the LAC region. There I took the opportunity to share the Internet Society’s vision of IoT security: we want people to benefit from the use of these devices in a trustworthy environment. The issue is particularly relevant to the local environment taking into account that Mexico will celebrate “El buen fin,” a period known for shopping discounts, akin to Black Friday in the United States.

Basic Tips to Shop Smart

Among the discounted items of “El buen fin” are “smart” devices, which offer features that include Internet access. While such devices are focused on making people’s lives more comfortable, it’s worth taking into account security recommendations before purchasing products that can generate headaches and worse.

We must take into account that each IoT device we use in our home or office is part of the global Internet – by the mere fact that it’s turned on and connected. As users we have an important responsibility to help protect ourselves…and the Internet.

Here’s what we can do before and after we buy IoT products to help make them secure:

  • Learn to shop smart, especially for connected devices.
  • Update your devices and its applications.
  • Turn on encryption if available.
  • Take steps to make your home network more secure.
  • Use a strong password.

The connected future is here. Let’s make sure it’s secure. #GetIoTSmart

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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