Cybersecurity labels will help consumers choose secure smart devices

A new cybersecurity labeling program will provide information about the risks of smart devices to help consumers buy the safest tech.

A person walks through a dark parking lot surrounded by digital lines as if they're extracting data from them
Pixabay user Buffik |
With more internet connected devices in our lives, cybersecurity risks are growing.

Last month, President Biden announced a cybersecurity labeling program that will provide Americans with information about the security and vulnerability of smart devices to help consumers buy the safest tech. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been working on criteria for the labeling program, which is scheduled to launch by the end of 2024.

What devices will get the cybersecurity label?

Devices that meet the NIST criteria will be able to display the “U.S. Cyber Trust Mark” on their product and packaging. To get the Cyber Trust label, devices will need to:

  • Store any data it collects securely and give consumers the ability to delete data
  • Be able to detect if the device starts acting unusually and alert the manufacturer and consumer
  • Receive ongoing software updates to protect against new threats
  • Provide consumers with information to inform purchasing decisions, like the expected length of time the device will receive security updates

The program seeks to provide labeling for smart devices such as smart refrigerators, fitness trackers, baby monitors and home security cameras, among others. In addition to the Cyber Trust Mark, the FCC plans on implementing a QR code that will link to a national registry of certified devices that will be updated on an ongoing basis. Several major industry leaders have voluntarily made commitments to the program, including Best Buy, Amazon, Google and Samsung. 

Cybersecurity labels will help make smart devices more transparent to consumers. It’s a good first step towards putting consumers more in control over deciding what tech is right for their home.

READ: 10 easy tips to protect your smart home devices from unwelcome visitors

Lilly Miron

Intern, Don't Sell My Data campaign


Show More