This post was written in partnership with Bitdefender. All opinions are my own.
Years ago, I would notice way too late that one of my credit cards had been hacked. I’d be stuck for hours of sitting on hold waiting for a customer service rep to go through weeks of disputed charges one by one, followed by canceling the card, waiting for a replacement, and waiting for the charges to be credited back to the account.
This likely sounds familiar, since according to studies nearly half of Americans have dealt with credit card fraud in the last 5 years. I’ve taken various measures to ensure that my money is better protected in the future (I’ll share them in another post!) but it has me thinking: I’ve also got a house filled with devices (that store and share sensitive information, financial and otherwise). How safeguarded is that?
Maybe you live in a smart home and don’t know it?
Even if you think you don’t live in an overtly “smart home” like I do, you probably have more smart devices than you realize. According to a recent study by Bitdefender, the average American now owns three smart devices. Most new TVs come with integrated streaming apps like Hulu or Netflix, which means that even if you’re not using them, they might still be talking to the cloud. Your gaming consoles, like an Xbox or Nintendo Switch? They’re online too. And if they’re online, they’re hackable, which means they could be used to get on to your home’s wireless network and infiltrate your laptop.
The truth is, it’s hard to keep track of all this stuff. And having it in your home requires you to (a) keep up with security updates and (b) trust the company that makes it to outstep hackers for years to come. As the smart devices start to pile up in my house, I’m not really prepared to count on myself to do either of those things well— and that’s me talking! I’d rather have a smarter device do it all for me.
Another important stat from the study: One in three people have been the victim of a cyber attack. And yet our concern about cyber attacks is not increasing, according to 43% of that same study. it’s like our front doors are unlocked 24-7, giving strangers access to our bank transactions, emails, my kids’ online habits, and all kinds of other identifying information.
Meet your home’s digital security guard
If you’re feeling sufficiently freaked out, yeah, it’s time to get a big, strong bouncer to start watching said door. Bitdefender BOX wants the job. It’s the cybersecurity guard you need for your home, monitoring all of your internet-connected devices using technology that blocks hackers and protects sensitive data, allowing you to manage everything from a single mobile app.
Here’s are some of the things you can expect from this smart cybersecurity hub:
Brute Force Protection: That’s hacker-speak for aggressively trying streams of usernames and passwords on a device until you stumble on the right one. Bitdefender BOX can tell when a device is being pummeled and will put a stop to it.
Vulnerability Detection: Weak passwords, no passwords, default passwords… you might as well stand outside your home and hand out spare keys to passers-by. Bitdefender BOX will identify password weaknesses and bring them to your attention.
Safe browsing: Stumble across an unsafe or malicious URL and Bitdefender BOX will step in to protect your from phishing, malware & online fraud.
Device doctor: Bitdefender BOX studies every device on your network and establishes a baseline of what it’s “normal” behavior looks like. When the device starts acting funny, it will block access to that device and let you know. Anyone trying to co-opt your smart camera to spy on your home or use it to lift your passwords or other sensitive information will be stopped in their tracks.
Connection notifications: Any device connected to your home network shows up in the Bitdefender BOX app, so if your neighbor decides to try and use your Wifi to stream a Game of Thrones marathon, you’ll know.
Keeps your privates private: No sensitive data— credit card information or location data— is sent without encryption. Which means if you’re accidentally shopping on an insecure website, Bitdefender BOX will let you know and block the attempt.
PLUS, parental controls! While we’re keeping bad guys at bay, let’s make sure the kids are safe: Effective tools to manage daily internet time, set content filters by age for each device, or just pause the internet altogether so you can eat dinner without interruptions. (You’ll get alerts about potential cyberbullying and online predator attempts, too).
At $250, Bitdefender BOX seems like an investment worth making, especially when you think about how much you pay for homeowners insurance, or what online fraud or identity theft could cost you in time and money. Purchasing Bitdefender BOX includes unlimited device protection for a year ($99/year after the first year), along with free shipping, free set-up assistance (YESSS!) and 24/7 tech support. It’s peace of mind for your digital life.