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Safe at home

Tips for protecting internet-enabled appliances

Smart homes
Smart home devices could allow hackers to gain account passwords and other user information.

Refrigerators, coffee makers, fitness equipment and other internet-enabled household devices and appliances could become targets for online hackers seeking personal user information.

These devices and others that incorporate smart audio speakers, TVs, light switches and home security systems — as well as voice-controlled personal assistants — operate on a concept known as the “internet of things.”

This refers to a network of everyday internet-connected devices that interact with each other.

While these devices offer users convenience, such as the ability to activate thermostats or security systems remotely, they could allow hackers to gain account passwords and other user information.

To help secure your internet-connected devices, the CyberSafe at USPS team offers the following tips:

• Disable internet connections if you’re unable to update the device password or software.

• Update your device software to keep security settings current.

• Create strong passwords by using passphrases, a memorable set of words that serve as your password.

• Limit what you share by setting devices to track only certain information such as location services in apps and smartphone diagnostics.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages and have additional tips and information.

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