Many of us know the importance of web security, especially on devices like laptops and phones, but when it comes to the IoT, hiding IP addresses might not be quite so commonly understood. Why is it important to practice good security when it comes to these devices? What risks are posed now that more and more home devices are connected to the internet.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is like a digital signature, a string of characters that identifies each device, such as a computer. When a computer or device connects to a network, the IP address is one of the ways in which the two devices communicate with one another. Many people choose to hide IP addresses, as it can help to prevent any security breach that may otherwise occur.
Why You Need to hide the IP address of your IoT devices
Many people choose to keep their activity private, and prevent companies and web users from collecting data on you. When you make a direct connection to a server the data about your IP address as well as certain other data about your devices can be collected.
What does an IP say about your identity and location?
While the IP address doesn’t show exactly who you are, it can give little clues of information that may be used, and your activity can be tracked. Things like the type of device and the browser being used are communicated, so while it is still not a full profile of a user, this data is definitely handy for advertisers and for scammers.
Does an IP address give away your location?
While the location is not specifically given, people can’t see your address or the street you live on, but the IP address can give away a rough location, another reason to hide IP addresses from others.
Advertiser’s geo-targeting with an IP
Many advertisers will use your location as part of how they target you. By working out the rough location based on your connection to other networks they can establish roughly where you live and target local adverts for events, local stores, and more. Location data is valuable to an advertiser, but you may not want people to know where you are connecting from.
Risks to your IoT smart home
There are still many security problems for the IoT, and they aren’t always up to running software. While you can decide on hiding IP addresses with proxy connections on the computer this might not be an option for every smart device. Your system might still be vulnerable.
Additional Risks, Challenges, and Protocols
On top of this, there are sometimes specific IoT attacks to track your location and activity or even to steal passwords or install malware on an IoT device.
Just because of the fact that these devices don’t usually have a lot of processing power, an IoT device such as a smart doorbell can prove to be a big security risk. With malware, an attacker could potentially intercept and steal your data.
How is IoT used in business?
The Internet of Things has a huge number of potential business uses, and there are too many to even list.
Devices that are connected to the internet include things like cameras, sensors, and many other small smart devices.
These devices can allow companies to make huge networks of cameras, smart grids, and even monitoring systems such as vehicle management. For example, logistics systems can now track drivers and deliveries much more easily, allowing for better traffic management.
Eventually, the world is moving towards a system where we have smart buildings, homes, and even cities.
IoT has very different uses from one business to the next, but as time goes on these sorts of small devices can be applied in so many different ways, but if the precautions aren’t taken then there is every chance that they can provide a potential threat to security.
Solutions to protect privacy on IoT devices
The most common solution to these problems is using a VPN or hiding IP address with proxy connections. However, this isn’t a solution for everyone, and not every different IoT device is capable of running a VPN, for instance. This means we need another solution to ensure that data isn’t stolen.
Instead, to protect your privacy, you should choose to protect your whole internet connection. You can buy routers that have the option of installing a VPN on them, which means that every time you connect from any of your devices, your identity will be protected using VPN protection.
Hiding your IP address can allow you to browse, but also to use your devices without having to worry too much about whether your data is being compromised.
It isn’t as easy with an IoT device, though. While some have inbuilt security or methods to install a VPN or use a proxy, it makes sense to install a VPN at server level to give you extra peace of mind, whether you are using the IoT on a small individual level or within a big company.
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