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Hidden connections

‘Internet of things’ presents security risks

Yes, it’s smart. But is it safe?

What do today’s smart TVs, fitness equipment and home security systems all have in common?

They can all connect to the internet.

This technology, known as the “internet of things,” refers to everyday devices that have an online connection — which makes them vulnerable to targeting by hackers.

Often, these devices are overlooked for security updates and aren’t secured with strong passphrases. They can also reveal as much personal information as your computer.

To protect yourself and your devices, the CyberSafe at USPS team offers the following tips:

Update. Stay current on all software updates and security patches.

• Disable. If your device is fully functioning without the internet, it’s safest to disable the online connection.

• Protect. Use a strong, original and memorable passphrase to serve as your password.

Remember: The workplace is also vulnerable to risks associated with the internet of things.

Plugging any personal devices — smartphones, tablets, wearable technology and even personal gadgets such as e-cigarettes — into USPS equipment violates Postal Service policy and puts the organization’s data at risk.

The CyberSafe at USPS pages on Blue and LiteBlue have more information and best practices.

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