SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – “Smart tech” devices are among the top gift items this year, according to the Consumer Technology Association.

Ryland Madison, Director of Product Management at Cox Communications, visited Good Morning San Diego to bring awareness to the importance of protecting your technology.

According to the CTA, technology spending during the 2018 holiday season will reach $96.1 billion in revenue in the United States.

Some advice from Cox Communications:

· Change passwords regularly, and be sure to change the default password for each device. These default passwords can often be found online with an easy search.
· Use two-factor authentication or use a password generator that will provide you a random code to use. Don’t write down your passwords.
· Keep software updated. Learn how to update it as soon as you bring it home. Don’t ignore the update notifications you may receive, and also do an online search periodically to find any updates you may be missing. The updates often provide security patches to deal with identified vulnerabilities.
· Be aware of the “trade-offs” – because they track behaviors, data around home life can be a commodity. – so read the fine print (i.e. terms of service) and know what you are signing up for.
· Consider setting up a separate wi-fi network for just your smart home / home automation devices.
· Do your research, read reviews – does the company you are buying from update their software enough to protect from the latest threats? You want to make sure they have a strong reputation. Do they push the update to the device, or do you have to download it?
· Stick to well-known brands – especially when it comes to smart speakers, and make sure they have a physical mute button. Off brands may not, and they are not easily bypassed. Sometimes it’s best to wait to adopt smart home tech when it is in its second or third generation.

 



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