Don’t Forget Internet of Things Safety on Vacation

Home is where the ‘smart’ is. A recent study revealed the average American household has 25 connected or Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The number of consumers who have smart home devices connected to their home internet has grown by 38% since the pandemic began. The findings don’t surprise Brad Ree, the chief technology officer (CTO) of Internet of Things solutions at the ioXt Alliance. Nor do they surprise Adam Laurie, IBM Security X-Force Red’s lead hardware hacker. Ree has more than 80 connected devices in his home. Laurie recently found five connected or IoT devices that he didn’t know existed inside his home. Even more, when he looked at the firewall rules on his internet service provider’s router, the universal plug and play (UPnP) was switched on, adding firewall rules for smart devices in his home unbeknownst to him. 

In addition, with the pandemic nearing the rearview window, employees are starting to travel again. This increase also means vacation rental home bookings are up. One vacation home company notes that by the end of March 2021, 90% of its homes in New Jersey and Cape Cod were booked for July. Another company revealed the booking lead time for summer stays at its rental properties is 147 days this year.

Internet of Things Security in Vacation Homes

While renting a vacation home can provide more space for less money, it can also create more attacker opportunities. For example, Ree shared a story about a recent family vacation. He, his wife and kids stayed in a vacation rental home from where he worked for a week. Being the security savvy CTO that he is, the minute he entered the home, Ree performed a port scan to see if anyone else could connect to the network. To his surprise, various past visitors had added multiple firewall rules to the home network. Any one of the rules could have enabled the visitors to remain connected, even remotely. The access also meant if the visitors had malicious intentions, they could compromise Ree’s laptop and potentially his employer’s network.

“You are staying in an open environment,” says Ree. “Don’t assume it is your house. In a vacation rental home, an attacker…


Don’t Let Autocrats Run the Internet After Covid

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.

Lukashenko’s government blocked much of the internet during protests last summer with the help of technology from U.S.-based Sandvine Inc. The company eventually canceled its deal with Belarus, but …


25 Jobs That Surprisingly Don’t Require a College Degree

Studies have suggested there are clear correlations between attaining higher levels of education and employment rates, with 2020 data showing more than two-thirds of young adults with a bachelor’s degree are employed.

However, rising tuition fees, coupled with the prospect of spending years more at college, means tertiary education is not an option enjoyed by everyone.

Fortunately, excellent jobs are still available to those eager to kick-start their career with an enviable starting salary straight out of high school.

We’ve picked out 25 such jobs and how much you can expect to earn, using data from PayScale. Take a look through the list below.


Average salary: $59,790

A college degree is not always required for the potentially lucrative job of Stockbroker
LanaStock/Getty Images

Stockbrokers buy and sell stocks at the direction of clients and act as intermediaries between them and the markets.

Although prospective stockbrokers and traders frequently major in finance or business-related subjects, a specific major field is not stipulated, meaning a college degree is not always required for this potentially lucrative job.

Mining construction

Average salary: $59,255

Mining construction
A college degree is not necessary when starting in mining construction
agnormark/Getty Images

Working in mining construction involves ensuring valuable underground reserves of minerals, metals and fuel are extracted safely and efficiently.

While a college degree is not necessary when starting in this industry, certain entry-level jobs do require specialised licences for operating heavy machinery.


Average salary: $51,709

A college degree in accountancy is not necessary to progress in accountancy
AndreyPopov/Getty Images

A job in accountancy involves being responsible for maintaining and interpreting financial records.

While a college degree in accountancy is not necessary to progress in the company, obtaining an associate’s degree is certainly recommended.

Commodities trader

Average salary: $79,522

Commodities trader
Although most commodity traders possess a college degree, high school leavers with sufficient maths ability can still qualify
scyther5/Getty Images

A commodity trader is a job dedicated to investing in physical substances…


20 security secrets hackers don’t want you to know

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.

Hackers are the bane of our existence. What started as the occasional data breach has turned into thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of scams, ransomware and heinous attacks. Nobody is safe.

While anyone could be a victim to hackers, that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself. There is an entirely separate market out there for programs and devices designed to keep you from getting hacked. Sometimes the answers are simpler than investing in fancy products. Here are five essential steps to take to protect yourself from hackers online.

Information is power, as they say. So the best thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. Here are 20 security secrets that hackers don’t want to know about.

1. Oversharing on social media

We post everything on social media. Bad idea! Avoid oversharing the following information, and whatever you do, stay away from using basic information to create passwords.

  • Children’s names.
  • Pet names.
  • The date of your anniversary and maybe divorce!
  • Kid’s birthdates.
  • Anything relevant to your passwords.

The best way to protect yourself here is to create a strong password. Do so by using a combination of letters, capital letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using common names and phrases in your passwords or any personal information. Tap or click here for five new rules to creating the best passwords.

2. Photos with inside looks of your home

This is simple enough. Think before you post. Pictures of your home office sometimes catch images of your computer screen. This can easily give hackers what they need. To really ensure hackers can’t take advantage of your photos, double-check your privacy settings.

On Facebook

On Instagram

  • Head to the Settings menu.
  • On the top right corner, select the hamburger button.
  • This opens a side menu.
  • Click the settings wheel at the very bottom.
  • Click on Privacy.
  • Select the activate the private account setting.

3. Eerily similar emails

Some of the most successful scams come through emails. Some tend to think emails are harmless, but they have the potential to become a huge hassle. Look for any subtle signs that emails are spoofed. Often the email addresses and links are very close, but a single digit is off.

It’s never a…