It’s much easier to steal a drone than it is to steal a car. Since drones rely on technology to run, it’s easy for experienced hackers to infiltrate that technology and take control of a drone that doesn’t belong to them. Breaking into a drone is almost exactly the same as breaking into a computer, and your drone needs to be adequately protected. Drones are big investments, and you can’t afford to leave yourself open to malicious people or programs.
With drone use on the rise, drone users need to be more careful. As the popularity of drones grows, so does the interest of hackers who might want to steal your drone or even crash it for sport. Protecting your drone doesn’t need to be difficult, and it all starts with the way you approach the purchasing process.
Cheap drones are fun to toy around with, but they’re also some of the most vulnerable ones. In order to keep costs down, manufacturers of budget drones don’t keep things like security in mind. The end result is something that operates okay at best, and it’s especially vulnerable. Protection starts with the manufacturer, and so should your purchasing considerations.
Don’t cut corners when you’re purchasing a drone. Drones can easily climb up into the thousands of dollars, but it’s worth it to know you have a drone that will last a long time and be able to withstand some common threats. Cheap drones wear out or break down quickly anyway – invest once in something of top level quality and focus on protecting what you have. If you’re diligent about maintenance, a pricier drone will last nearly forever.
Any data you transmit over an open connection can be intercepted by someone who has no business taking it. This is the same for your banking information and credit card number as it is for your drone. When you’re using a device to control your drone, you need to make sure that device is secure. Update all of your antivirus and antimalware software as soon as the updates become available – procrastinating can have serious consequences.
If you’re using your phone to operate your drone, you’ll want to treat it the same way you’d treat your computer. VPNs work for both kinds of devices. VPNs create a secure traffic tunnel that hackers cannot look into. Everything you do is surrounded by its own private wall. There are VPNs for laptop and desktop computers, but there are also VPNs for iPhone or Android devices. Just make sure the one you select is compatible with your device and up to date on the latest security standards.
If you’re flying your drone in the same place and using the same patterns every day, anyone observing you will soon be able to notice what you’re up to. If that person wanted to hack your drone, it would be relatively easy for them to do it. It might even be easier for them to intercept or physically steal your drone if they know where it will be and at one time. In order to avoid these situations, it’s best to change things up as often as possible.
It’s okay to revisit locations you love and even reuse the same flight patterns, but you need to be sure you’re adding enough variations to keep hackers and thieves at bay. Generate random plans and explore new places. If you have a favorite combination, try not to use it on the same day of the week and at the same time of day consistency. This doesn’t only keep hackers at bay – it also encourages you to experiment more, which is one of the most fun parts of flying a drone.
New cyber security threats pop up every day. It’s important to stay one step ahead with all of your connected devices, including your drone. Remember to be vigilant about suspicious activity and regularly check your safety provisions to assure they’re working properly. Enjoy your next safe drone flight.
Elizabeth Lee is a blogger, deeply interested in logistics and transportation and all the technologies that support them. She is also a part of the team at PACK & SEND, logistics experts from Australia. Feel free to verify PACK & SEND using ABN-Lookup.