Before preparing your snacks and wearing your team jersey, take some time to protect your Smart TV, laptop, tablet or mobile phone for the Live-Streaming you will be watching. Cybercriminals are lurking.
The popularity of sporting events such as the UEFA Euro 2020 final, the Wimbledon tournament, or the Olympic Games is unquestionable. Equally unquestionable, however, is the popularity of Live Streaming - that is, the live online broadcasts of sporting events.
For example, in 2015, almost one million people watched the Super Bowl final live. This number almost doubled in 2021 reaching 5,7 million viewers!
According to Gabrielle Ladouceur Despins, columnist for ESET's well-known blog WeLiveSecurity, if you watch sports events live streaming on your SmartTV, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, the following tips will keep you and your personal data safe.
1. Protect your router
The router allows you to wirelessly connect multiple devices to your network. This device is the first step for streaming, but also an entry point for cybercriminals. Before you start live streaming of a sporting event - or better yet, before connecting any IoT device - it is important to make sure your router is securely configured. We invite you to read this blogpost, which will guide you step by step to configure your router security in five easy steps.
2. Separate your networks
It is possible that many devices are connected to your router. A good practice for the security of your router, and therefore of your entire home network, is to make a list of your devices and create separate networks with custom permissions, to better protect the most sensitive devices.
By re-reading the list of your devices, you will be able to turn off the ones you no longer use. This step will make it easier to detect an intrusion as you already know the names of the devices connected to your network.
3. Set up your Smart TV or smart device
Like all your connected devices - and your router! - Your Smart TV must be set up correctly to ensure security and functionality. Each manufacturer uses different features and functions, so refer to the instructions of your device.
In any case, we strongly recommend that you configure the privacy settings on your devices and the information that the manufacturer has the right to collect or disclose to third parties. Several manufacturers have received a red card from the Authorities as a rebuke for collecting personal information from their customers - including voice recordings and browsing preferences.
Remember to turn off features you are not using.
4. Install the latest updates
Regardless of the type of device on which you watch the games, remember that cybercriminals are always trying to find a vulnerability to achieve their dark goals.
By regularly updating your devices, you will have the latest patches developed by the manufacturer, thus preventing cybercriminals from infiltrating exploited known vulnerabilities.
Unlike your PC or smartphone operating system, the firmware of most IoT devices does not update automatically. Check the vendor's website, with your device model number and the current firmware version installed, to see if updates are available
5. Use a security solution
Like your computer or smartphone, smart devices can be infected with malware or other types of cyber threats. Therefore, the use of a complete security solution by a trusted vendor is essential to ensure that these devices are protected.
6. Select the website
Now that your network and devices are secure, you need to prepare for another challenge before preparing your snacks and putting on your team jersey. Finding a reliable and secure streaming website.
You can choose from many sources that offer free streaming or paid streaming. Unfortunately, this perspective often causes us to become overwhelmed when it's time to start a project.
One of the most common problems is that some websites that offer free streaming are full of ads. One might think that this is just a small inconvenience, but by clicking on these ads, you may be redirected to a malicious website.
However, even the biggest players in the streaming subscription market can put you at risk. As we have seen in the past, data breaches have affected streaming services such as Disney + and Amazon Prime and Hulu, endangering the personal data of their customers
Using a secure password (or better yet an entire phrase), not using the same passwords on different services, and checking for hasibeenpwned breaches are some simple and effective steps to protect you.
Finally, since we are talking about streaming services, you need to take some time to think about who you have shared your passwords with and change them to passwords that only you know. That way, you do not have to worry about your personal data being accidentally or intentionally compromised.
Keep in mind that while all of this may seem tedious at first, good cybersecurity practices, including the behaviors and controls listed above, are your first line of defense against cyber threats.
Remember, the goal is to be able to relax and have fun without having to deal with any negative consequences in the future…