The Internet of Things has seen rapid development in the past few years. The rate of digitisation has caused as much optimism as it has fear. The explanation for this is simple, with the number of connected devices estimated to reach 30 billion by 2020, the chance of a massive hacking scheme has risen exponentially. The Internet of Things brings with it many possibilities that can completely revolutionise our world and how we interact with it. It brings our profiles to all areas of our lives and gives us access to all of our information whenever we want it or wherever we are.
The Internet of Things is definitely making life better for us as it prevents losses of information and keeps our material goods secure. The ability to use our phones to control our homes and our security is enough to call the recent technological revolution a win. However, even though these advancements make our lives much better, they also have the potential to flip them upside down if the proper precautions are not taken. The recent expansion of the internet and accessibility to people all across the world will not only increase how much exposure there is on the internet but it will also increase the number of exploitation access points across the globe.
As we've seen with the recent hacking expeditions against major retailers, the vulnerability of devices on the internet is still at a level that creates uncertainty in our everyday lives. There are also a number of attacks that go unreported as the loss of information at the hands of malevolent people is a constant pressure. The Internet of Things, and it's ultimate goal, is an evergreen pursuit that has its fair share of traps hidden in the dark.
Cyber security, such as it is, has come into the limelight the last few years as hacking becomes a more popular pursuit amongst the criminals of this world. The increase in volume of attacks, along with the proficiency, means that everyday people have to go out into the world prepared to deal with a personal cyber attack. The amount of hacking software is increasing at an alarming rate and has many companies worried about the safety of their information and intranet.
Traditional hacking methods, such as spyware and ransomware, are becoming more common as the internet is accessed by more and more people. These hackers are becoming deft at stealing information and using social exploits against individuals. The rate alone is enough for cyber security companies to panic and should be of the utmost concern to everyday people. Individuals must now educate themselves, and others, on the best practices and uses of their devices, software, and email.
This is ultimately the greatest change that the Internet of Things brings. It requires all people to become, not only proficient, but knowledgeable of electronic systems and their safety precautions. Everyone must know how to encrypt a file or secure an ethernet access point. Everyone must keep their software up-to-date and their hardware drivers current. We must all know how to spot phishing attempts and ransomware links. We must also know how to browse the web and which websites to trust.
Cyber security threats are far and wide and can reach us on every device that is connected to the internet. Cameras that are connected to the phone via an internet connection can be hacked into and used to spy on you. Wifi-enabled cars can be hacked and information can be stolen from them such as addresses and phone numbers. This is not to strike fear into the hearts of people but rather to encourage an understanding of how cyber security works.
We must be ready to fight against social exploits like spam callers and robocallers. We have to be careful with what we put into our PCs. A common exploit for many years was dropping a USB stick in front of an office building and hoping that an employee would pick it up and put it into their computer. Once this was accomplished the virus would load and would start to steal information immediately. Now that we are in the Internet of Things we must be extra cautious as every misstep furthers the possibility that we are hacked. Diligence and education will take us very far as a people and becoming knowledgeable is the best way to fight for freedom. If we let fear halt our progress then we have failed ourselves and everyone we know.