Tag Archives: Amazon Echo Privacy

IoT Vulnerabilities Associated with Top Holiday Gifts

The Holidays are over and 2019 is in full swing. Now that the family is gone, it’s time to get serious about tackling network security, specifically for new smart devices. Smart or Internet of Things (IoT) devices make life easier. However, many IoT devices have serious security vulnerabilities.

IoT Vulnerabilities Background

This holiday season saw an explosion in the purchase of IoT devices in the US. One of the largest areas of growth came from smart speakers, potentially this season’s hottest gift. According to recent estimates, during the 2018 holiday season, smart speakers saw an increase in sales of 78%, as compared to 2017. Currently, around one in every ten Americans has a smart speaker device. In fact, in the US alone, there are 101 million active smart speakers.

Like any other device that connects to the internet, IoT devices have vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, fancy new devices like AmazonBasics Microwaves with Alexa or Ember Smart Mugs with Apple Health Caffeine Intake Tracking most likely offer little in regards to security. In fact, the same can be said of all other types of Smart Home and IoT devices as well.

Last month, FlashRouters covered privacy concerns regarding Amazon Alexa and the potential for hackers to take advantage of its “listening mode”. Furthermore, just last Christmas, hackers managed to remotely access Bose and Sonos Speakers.

How Can I Protect My New Holiday Smart Home Gifts from IoT Vulnerabilities?

Taking advantage of a Virtual Private Network is the best way to ensure smart speaker security, prevent Alexa spying, and reduce IoT vulnerabilities. Here are some excellent providers for protecting your network:

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Unsure which VPN provider is best for you? Send us a message.

A Virtual Private Network encrypts connections by tunneling user traffic through a remote server and back. For example, any prying eyes, such as a snooping Internet Service Provider, will be able to see the VPN tunnel, but none of the traffic moving through it.

In order to use a smart device or IoT device through a VPN, you will have to use an Open Source router. IoT devices do not have native VPN support. However, connecting to an Open Source VPN-ready router will encrypt all devices on the network, including any Smart Wifi device.

Routers with factory firmware are frequently full of bugs and hacker-ready backdoors. Flashing a router with Open Source DD-WRT firmware eliminates these bugs and allows for a slew of previously unavailable feature sets, like the ability to use a connection to a VPN server on the device.

Using a FlashRouter to Prevent IoT Vulnerabilities

Best Netgear DD-WRT IoT Vulnerabilities

The Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000 (pictured above) boasts a 1.7 GHz processor alongside 4 high powered external antennas. If you are looking for a device robust enough to handle a large amount of traffic through a VPN, look no further.

The Netgear Nighthawk R9000 is the perfect device for smart speakers security in any large home or for any situation involving heavy WiFi usage.

Some of our other high-end recommended routers include:

Netgear R6400V2 AC1750
Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 AC1900
Netgear R7800 AC2600
Wireless-AC1750 Mbps
1 GHz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
Top Economy Router
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1.6 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Great for Streaming
Wireless-AC2600 Mbps
1.7 GHz Qualcomm Processor
4 External Antennas
One of Our Most Powerful Routers

FlashRouters Privacy App Solution to Tackle IoT Vulnerabilities

Every DD-WRT FlashRouter comes with the free FlashRouters Privacy App. The FlashRouters Privacy App revolutionizes and simplifies using a DD-WRT router with a VPN.

With the Privacy App, users can:

  • Switch between VPN locations with the tap of a button
  • Manage which devices go through the VPN and which don’t
  • Change VPN Providers with a few clicks on the same device

Want better support for your entire network? The FlashRouters Privacy App is here to help.