Last January, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched the IoT Home Inspector Challenge, a contest that requested participants to come up with a tool that would identify security issues that are caused by out-of-date software in IoT devices to better educate and protect consumers about the security vulnerabilities of IoT devices.

To remind you of all of the “things” that may be connected to the Internet, we have previously flagged the security risks of IoT things, including dolls, toys, security systems, refrigerators, cars, stoves, coffee makers, washing machines, and even aquariums.  Anything connected to the Internet can be hacked and accessed and manipulated.

The FTC recently announced the winner of the IoT Home Inspector Challenge—Steve Castle—who developed a mobile app called “IoT Watchdog.” IoT Watchdog scans an individual’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks to assemble a list of IoT devices for the individual, identifies those devices that have out-of-date software or other vulnerabilities, and provides instructions to the user about how to update the software or fix the vulnerability.

Now that’s a great idea. Congratulations to Steve Castle for helping us all better protect our IoT devices and thereby protect our privacy from malicious actors.