What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

A term that has gained popularity over recent years is the “Internet of Things” or abbreviated as IoT.  What is the IoT and how does it affect you?  Let’s find out.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things in a concept that describes devices that we would not consider computers being connected to the Internet.  For example, I have a smart television that is connected to the Internet – it lets me stream Netflix without an additional computer or other device.

The TV as computer is not a terribly hard stretch of the imagination, as it has a screen and an input device (the remote).  The IoT includes many devices that we would not consider to be a computer.  Here are some examples:


How does the Internet of Things affect me?

The most likely way that the IoT will affect you is by being a part of your home.  Many people are finding benefits in smart devices.  The smart TV allows me to watch streaming television and movies without adding a new device.  Smart refrigerators will tell when you’ve run out of milk and order you some more.  Doorbells have camera that will alert your phone when you have a visitor.  I’m not 100% sure what benefit the smart toilet brings, but I’m sure those people who have one will never go back.

The second way that the IoT might affect you is through computer security.  There is a risk that these types of devices will not go through the same rigor of security testing that traditional computer software might endure.  The lack of a traditional screen or mouse and keyboard might make them less likely to receive software updates, and security holes might allow an attacker to control the device, or use it to take part in another attack like a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).


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