The Most Popular Computing Devices that Must be Secured for 2021

With the holiday gift season approaching, millions of shoppers around the world are purchasing countless gadgets and devices.

Adam Rippon

The Most Popular Computing Devices that Must be Secured for 2021

Millions of shoppers around the world are purchasing countless gadgets and devices. It is easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of new technology but there is a downside to increased connectivity: new ways for hackers to exploit your information. Cybercriminals are working around the clock to take advantage of any vulnerability on any device across any system. That means the newest devices are a major target. Once society returns to the workplace with new gadgets from holiday gifts, it is important to understand how vulnerabilities can be exploited to gain access to sensitive information. The following are the most popular computing devices that must be secured in 2021.

E-Reader

Most users do not feel e-readers are an attractive target to hackers. However, since these devices run apps, they too can be infected with malware that is attached to public app stores. Once installed, malware gives hackers access to personal information and passwords.

Laptop

Laptops continue to remain a target for old-fashioned hardware theft. In addition to resulting in the financial loss of the laptop, you will also lose personal data, apps, logins, cloud services, and websites. Being able to lock down the device, thus preventing unauthorised access, is crucial to risk mitigation of work and personal information.

Smartpen

Believe it or not, your smartpen is even a risk. Doctors often utilise smartpens to prescribe medications that contain personal information that is transferred to pharmacies. In many instances, a hacker could access the device using network protocols. After bypassing the security protocols of the smartpen software, a hacker could acquire administrative access to back-end servers that store the patient’s sensitive information including medical records.

Smartphone

Cybercriminals often attempt to port your phone number to a different carrier which allows them to steal your messages, call information, and identity. While this is not a new threat to smartphone users, there is a continual rise in the number of porting issues across all carriers. This type of attack can be prevented by following all security protocols, like maintaining a secure PIN.

Smart Speaker

Smart speakers are convenient, fun, and always listening to you and your guests in the home and office. That means there is a risk that the privacy of your conversations is being recorded. Vulnerabilities exist in the software of smart speakers that could allow cybercriminals to record, phish, and eavesdrop on conversations. The process is as simple as uploading malicious software that appears to be a new action or skill which the user installs, and it records their conversations or requests password access. Device manufacturers are constantly working on eliminating these security threats, so it is critical to remain updated on all security patches.

Smartwatch

Hackers utilise smartwatches to access sensitive personal and business data. For example, by installing a spy app on your smartwatch through public Wi-Fi exploits or phishing, a hacker could track your movements using accelerometer data. Regularly connecting to your company’s network while wearing the smartwatch could put your company at risk if the device has been compromised.

Wireless Headphones

As a Bluetooth-enabled device, wireless headphones are convenient and prone to hacking by cybercriminals. For example, when a vulnerability allows a device to interfere with the encryption process, a hacker can steal the key and access the information that is wirelessly transmitted between devices.

With a growing number of entry points for hackers to utilise on personal devices, following the recommended security protocols, including installing software patches, should be a top priority. Most devices now have an auto-update feature that will automatically update and install improved software as it becomes available. Even with software updates and extensive protocols, new and changing threats continue to emerge so be prepared by securing your devices for 2021!