Safety Checklist for your new Home Automation and Connected Gadgets

Did you receive a "connected thing" or a "smart home" gadget this year? Before you connect it up, follow our handy checklist to keep it (and your other devices) safe and secure.

The basics include the following:

1) Check out the company who makes your new gift and see if they seem to be a solid organization who will still be around in 6-12 months. Google the product itself to see if there have been any reports of security or other vulnerabilities.

2) Check to see if the product and its app are receiving regular updates, and update them first.

3) If the product needs you to have an account, practice good security with a strong password (12+ characters - get a password manager like LastPass if you don't have one!) If you'll be using an email for the device that's part of a major account potentially tied to other digital things in your life, turn on 2-factor authentication where possible to make it harder for your account and your device(s) to be accessed by people other authorized users. If the device will be connecting to the Internet or "the cloud" and there is no option to set a password, then think twice about usign the device.

Watch the video above for more detailed information and advice.