What's connected to your Internet connection?

Just about any electronic device you can buy comes with the ability to connect to the Internet. Maybe it's a web cam you installed to keep any eye on your summer cottage while you're away. Or the DVR you bought for the family because your schedules never seem to line up with those of your favorite shows.
What about that flat screen that you surprised the family with over the holidays? If it's a smart TV, it's connected.

Keeping these devices safe is just as important as keeping your phone and computer safe from unauthorized access. Here are some things you can do to protect those devices.

Change the password AND write it down.

Web cameras and Digital Video Recorders (DVR's) have logins and passwords that allow you to access them from your home network or over the Internet. Most manufacturers use a default login and password for those devices. Hackers know these passwords so as soon as you connect the device, there's a good chance they can connect to them.
Change the default password for each device. Make it a combination of letters, numbers and symbols that's at least 12 characters long. Don't be clever and use "password", "123456..." or "ABCDEF...". Hackers know that trick. Don't use words you'd find in a dictionary either.

As soon as you change the password, write it down. Get yourself a small notebook for this. Record the name of the device, the login and password that you've set for it. Then put that notebook in your home safe or someplace secure.

If you travel, copy only the passwords for the devices you want to access onto another piece of paper. That way, if you lose the paper, whomever finds it will have no idea what it's for. Your password book should never leave your house.