#TechPH - PLDT, Smart encourage customer vigilance, secure smart devices at home

PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) warn consumers that hackers are also targeting smart devices in their homes to disrupt their lives or steal their information.  

“Smart devices are connected to a home network. If your home network is weak, these devices can be taken over by hackers. Imagine, someone suddenly turning on the speakers and blasting inappropriate songs while you are sleeping, or someone using your security camera to spy on you,” warned Angel Redoble, FVP and Chief Information Security Officer at PLDT and Smart.  

With the Internet of Things unlocking possibilities to integrate different smart devices into a centralized hub, it has made it more convenient for homeowners to customize the settings of each gadget to adapt to their daily activities and habits. These hubs are often accessible over the internet.  

PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group has a few suggestions to help homeowners enjoy their smart devices safely.    

Smart devices connect to your home network via a router. So, secure your router first. Immediately change the default name and password. Make sure this password is different from your other accounts.  

Next, fortify your Home Wi-Fi network. During setup, key in a unique password using small and big letters, numbers, and special characters. Remember, your router and Wi-Fi network should have two separate passwords.  

Change your devices’ default password as well. It’s best to assign different passwords for each of your smart gadgets.  

Regularly update your gadgets’ software to the latest version to make them more secure.  And to add another layer of protection, turn on Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for your accounts.  You can also consider downloading a “password manager” to help you keep track of your credentials on different devices and platforms. There are password managers available for different operating systems.  

An IBM study bared that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. To counter this, PLDT and Smart advocate a culture of cybersecurity. The efforts of PLDT and Smart to share CyberSmart tips on keeping customers safe online are fundamental to the PLDT Group’s much broader program to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from threats and cyber-attacks.

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