Have you heard of the Internet of Things (IoT)? Even if you have little or no knowledge of information technology (IT) trends, you’ve probably heard of or seen this term used. In recent years, the IoT has become a hot topic among business owners and IT professionals alike. As more and more internet-connected devices are manufactured and sold, the IoT will continue to grow. But what exactly is the IoT?
What Is the IoT?
The IoT is a massive collection of computers and devices, each of which contains a unique identifier (UID) that allows it to transfer and receive data over a network — either a public network like the internet or a private network like Wi-Fi — without the need for human input.
While computers and smartphones are some of the most common IoT devices, the term “IoT” encompasses all network-enabled and connected devices. This includes everything from smart washing machines and video surveillance systems to surgically implanted medical devices and weather monitoring systems. If a device is capable of transmitting and receiving data over a network without the need for human input, it’s considered an IoT device.
25 Billion Connected Devices By 2025
According to a recent study conducted by Gartner, there were over 14 billion connected devices used in 2019. By 2025, however, Garter predicts this number will balloon to 25 billion connected devices.
You can find IoT devices used in countless commercial industries, one of which is healthcare. As previously mentioned, surgically implanted medical sensors may exhibit the characteristics of an IoT device. Some medical sensors, for example, gather data about a person’s health, which they transmit to a computer or server for further analysis.
The Rise of IoT Devices
What’s fueling the rise of IoT devices exactly? One reason for the IoT device market’s strong projected growth is the simple fact that network-connected devices are now cheaper and easier to manufacture than they were in the past. Manufacturers can produce and sell network-connected devices at a low cost, resulting in cost-savings benefits for consumers and business owners who purchase them.
For businesses, the IoT can prove useful in driving revenue. According to a separate Gartner study, businesses that adopt the IoT experience 80% better results than their counterparts that don’t embrace the IoT. With IoT devices, businesses can take advantage of streamlines data transfers that, ultimately, allows them to carry out their operations more efficiently.
While the IoT may sound complex, it’s actually pretty simple. It encompasses all network-connected devices that can transmit and receive data over a network without human input.
If your computer has been infected with malware, you can often resolve it by either deleting or quarantining the malicious files. Most anti-malware software can perform both of these operations. Whether you delete or quarantine the malware, it should resolve the problem by removing the threat from your computer.
With that said, deleting malware isn’t the same as quarantining it. Each method works in a different way, so it’s important to familiarize yourself between deletion and quarantining to determine which method is right for your computer.
The Basics of Deleting Malware
When anti-malware software gives you the option of deleting, it means the software will completely delete the malware. After the anti-malware software has identified the malware, it may give you the option of deleting it. You can choose this option, the software will wipe the malware from your computer.
The Basics of Quarantining Malware
Quarantining, on the other hand, doesn’t actually delete the malware. Instead, the anti-malware software will move the malware to a different location on your computer’s storage drive where it’s unable to interact with otherwise affect your computer’s legitimate files. The malware will technically still persist on your computer. When your quarantine it, however, it shouldn’t cause any noticeable symptoms. The quarantined malware will be moved to a new location to prevent it from adversely affecting your computer or data.
Choosing Between Deletion and Quarantining
Now that you know the differences between deletion and quarantining, you might be wondering which malware treatment solution is most effective. Because it’s the only method that actually removes malware, many business owners and consumers assume that deletion works best. While deleting malware can work in some instances, it’s not necessarily the best.
There are a few potential problems posed by deleting malware. First, not all malware consists of individual and separate files. Some forms of malware attach themselves onto your computer’s existing files. If the malware is embedded in a legitimate file and you delete it, you’ll remove both it and the legitimate file from your computer.
There’s also the possibility that the anti-malware software incorrectly identified as a legitimate file as being malicious. Most anti-malware software does a pretty good job at distinguishing between malicious and legitimate files. There are instances, however, when anti-malware software may wrongfully identify a legitimate file as malware. And if you proceed to delete the file, it may negatively affect your computer’s functionality or performance.
Have you heard of Wi-Fi 6? It’s the next generation of wireless network technology. Using the IEEE 802.11ax specification, Wi-Fi 6 delivers faster download and upload speeds as well as greater overall connection reliability when compared to previous Wi-Fi generations. To learn more about Wi-Fi 6 and what to expect with the next-generation wireless network technology, keep reading.
Overview of Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi 6 is a type of wireless network technology that, like preceding technologies, is designed to connect multiple computers and devices together, either with or without an active internet connection. It’s designed to operate on all ISM radio bands in the range of 1 GHz to 6 GHz. Wi-Fi 6 is still in the early stages of deployment, though you can already find the technology used in thousands by thousands of businesses throughout the United States.
Wi-Fi 6 Speeds
Now for the million-dollar question: How fast is Wi-Fi 6? The theoretical maximum download speed for the next-generation wireless network technology is 9.6 Gbps. To put that number into perspective, the theoretical maximum download speed for Wi-Fi 5 is just 3.5 Gbps. Therefore, it’s safe to say that Wi-Fi 6 is nearly three times faster — in terms of downloading — than its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5.
Of course, it’s important to note that the aforementioned speeds are simply theoretical limits, meaning you probably won’t download files at 9.6 Gbps over Wi-Fi 6 or 3.6 Gbps over Wi-Fi 5. Nonetheless, Wi-Fi 6 is download to support significantly faster downloading, as well as uploading, speeds.
Supports More Connected Devices
In addition to faster speeds, Wi-Fi 6 also supports a greater number of connected devices. Over the past decade, the number of internet-connected devices in the average home has increased. When Wi-Fi 5 rolled out, the average home had about a half-dozen internet-connected devices. Today, the average home now has nine internet-connected devices — a number that’s expected to balloon into 50 over the next few years.
Wi-Fi 5 only supports a limited number of connected devices. The good news is that Wi-Fi 6 is better equipped to handle a large number of simultaneous connections.
Wi-Fi 6 is still being rolled out, so it may take a while for businesses and consumers to adopt the new wireless network technology. Furthermore, only computers and devices featuring a Wi-Fi 6-compatible network card can operate over the next-generation wireless network technology. Considering its ability to support faster downloading and uploading speeds, as well as more simultaneous connections, Wi-Fi 6 will eventually become the standard for wireless network technology — at least until Wi-Fi 7 comes along, which will likely occur a long time from now.
Statistics show an overwhelming majority of Americans (81%) own a smartphone. While smartphones are undoubtedly convenient and useful in today’s high-tech world, they aren’t immune to cyber threats. Some hackers specifically target mobile devices while ignoring conventional desktop and laptop computers. Whether you use a smartphone for personal or work-related purposes, you should beware of the five following mobile cyber threats.
#1) Lost or Stolen Device
Because smartphones are so small, it’s not uncommon for consumers and business owners to lose them. If your smartphone is lost or stolen, it may fall into the wrong hands, resulting in the authorized access or use of your sensitive data. A nefarious individual, for instance, may look up your personal information, which he or she may sell on the black market to the highest bidder.
#2) Brute-Force Attacks
Smartphones are also susceptible to brute-force attacks. What is a brute-force attack exactly? This otherwise common cyber threat involves submitting many different combinations of usernames and passwords in an effort to access a victim’s network, system or account. To lower the risk of a brute-force attack, use a complex screen lock. When combined with other cybersecurity measures, a complex screen lock can safeguard your smartphone from brute-force attacks.
#3) Outdated OS
If your smartphone is running an outdated version of its operating system (OS), such as Android or iOS, you should update it as soon as possible. Most smartphones are designed to update their OS automatically. When Google or Apple releases a new version of their respective OS, smartphones will automatically connect to their servers to download the new version. With that said, automatic updates don’t always happen. And smartphones running an outdated OS may have one or more vulnerabilities that a hacker could exploit to access the device’s data.
Phishing is a common cyber threat affecting smartphones and other mobile devices. For example, you might receive an email or text message on your smartphone from what appears to be a legitimate person or business. The message may ask for sensitive information, such as your contact information or account logins. Of course, a hacker is behind the phishing message, and if you provide your sensitive information, he or she could use it for malicious purposes.
#5) Malicious Apps
Just because an app is published on Google Play or the App Store doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to download. Earlier this year, Forbes reported that a malicious Android app was downloaded by over 40 million users. How do you know if an app is safe to download? In addition to reading user reviews, look up the developer’s name on Google.
Is your email address being used to send spam to your contacts? Whether you use it for personal or commercial purposes (or both), it’s frustrating when your email address gets flagged for spam. Maybe a contact on your address list reached out to notify you about the issue, or perhaps you discovered it yourself with reviewing emails in your “sent” folder. Regardless, if your email address is being used to send spam, you should take immediate action to stop it.
Spoofing is an email-related cyber threat that involves forging the sender address of an email. In other. By default, standard email protocols don’t use authentication to verify the sender address of emails. As a result, it’s possible for hackers or other nefarious individuals to use a fake sender address. Known as spoofing, it may result in spam emails featuring your email address as the sender address.
With spoofing, the recipient thinks the email was sent from a legitimate person or business when it was actually sent from a hacker. After all, spoofing changes the sender address. If a hacker changes the sender address to your email address, it may result in your email address being flagged by recipients for spam.
If your email address hasn’t been spoofed, it’s probably been hijacked. Email hijacking is a catch-all term used to describe the unauthorized access and/or use an email address. In other words, a hacker has literally taken control of your email account and is using it to send spam.
What You Should Do
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent hackers from spoofing your email address. If a hacker is sending spoofed emails to your contacts, you can reach out to those contacts to inform them of the issue. Aside from that, however, the only real preventative measure is to deploy optional authentication protocols.
If your email address has been hijacked, on the other hand, there are steps you can take to regain control of it. First and foremost, log in to your email account and change your password. Don’t use the same password that you use for other logins. Rather, create an entirely new password consisting of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
For additional protection, consider enabling two-factor authentication in your email account. With two-factor authentication, you’ll have to enter your username and password, as well as some other type of information, to log in and use your email.