Cyber control: how engineers have applied their knowledge to improve the security of the internet

More and more things in the home are able to communicate with each other over the internet. For example, you can control a kettle with a smartphone, track your fitness on a tablet with a smartwatch, or turn the heating on before you get home.

The network of connected ‘things’ that can communicate with each other over the internet is called the internet of things. Connecting devices with each other could bring many benefits.


An illustration showing a connected internet of things, connecting kitchen appliances to your psmartphone or computer

The activity

Time to think

  • Connecting devices with each other could bring many benefits, e.g. when your alarm clock wakes you up, it could notify the toaster to start cooking your breakfast. What devices would you connect to each other?
  • Scenario - your council has asked for your help to improve public safety around your school. 

Dangers of hacking

Personal information can be transmitted across the internet of things (IOT), sometimes automatically, with devices making autonomous decisions.
  • What problems could it cause if hackers hacked into the IOT?
  • What can you do to make sure your information is safe?

Programming task

  • Some activites to do, using the BBC micro:bit.

Storing images

  • The binary system, and some calculations
  • Another programming task using the micro:bit