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One of those things

New trend poses potential hacking risk

Woman press electronic keypad on her wall
You can go online all around your home these days — but do you know how to protect all your internet-enabled gadgets?

Computers, smartphones and tablets are often targeted by hackers, but they aren’t the only gadgets online thieves have in their sights.

These days, most devices with on/off switches — including toys, appliances and wearable technology like headphones and fitness trackers — have the capability to connect to the internet.

While this concept, called the internet of things,” expands our ability to access information and environments, it also provides hackers with more ways to infiltrate computer networks.

To protect gadgets from hackers, follow these steps:

  • Research online gadgets before purchasing. Investigate the security protocols of internet-enabled devices, including security and software updates.
  • Update your device software. Always download and install software updates to keep security settings current.
  • Change the passwords for all your devices. Avoid using the same password for all your devices. Passwords should use a minimum of 15 characters, including upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and a unique identifier or special character, such as !, @ or #.

Remember: Employees should never connect their personal devices to postal computers.

If you encounter suspicious postal network activity, email the CyberSecurity Operations Center at

The CyberSafe at USPS sites on Blue, LiteBlue and have additional information.

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