8 Devices in your home you probably didn’t know can be hacked
While having a house full of smart products and devices seems appealing, many people are starting to wonder about the security of such a connected home. There are plenty of horror stories doing the rounds of cybercriminals hacking into our smart devices. But do you know the risks of the devices you use every day?
- How common are cyber attacks? According to one source, there are about 130 large-scale attacks per year.
- What’s one way I can improve my cyber security at home? Make sure you have unique and difficult passwords for all your connected devices.
- Where can I find other smart home security systems? We have a subcategory just for these devices along with a category for all smart home devices.
Today, we’re seeing more and more everyday objects become smart in order to make our lives easier. While the convenience is appreciated, the issue is that many people don’t realize how these connected devices are making it easier for hackers and cybercriminals to access our personal data.
Of course, we’ve all heard stories about computers and smartphones being hacked by criminals. But most of us don’t realize just how far some hackers are willing to go with their cyber attack.
To help you protect yourself and your family’s personal data, we’ve put together the following list of eight devices you probably didn’t know can be hacked.
Along with understanding the risks of connected devices, we also recommend using free software for privacy to keep all of your smart devices safe.
Most TVs we’re buying are smart TVs, which allow you to connect to the internet in order to access applications such as Netflix or YouTube. While you may not think criminals would be able to do very much by hacking your TV, it’s on the contrary.
In fact, smart TVs are, at their most basic, just really big smartphones. For example, many of them are equipped with cameras and microphones, allowing you to interact with your content. However, these can be accessed by hackers and they’ll be able to see if you’re home. Likewise, smart TVs also contain apps that may store your payment information.
Wi-Fi Enabled Security Cameras
Although it’s a bit ironic that a device used to keep your home safe can also be one of its vulnerabilities, Wi-Fi enabled security cameras are actually one of the most often targeted and easily hacked household devices.
Surprisingly, these devices could be easily secured. Using a stronger password and updating it regularly could thwart even the savviest of cybercriminals.
More recently, automated, voice-activated speakers have taken center stage. While these devices offer new levels of fun and automation, just like any other smart device, they can also be hacked, leaving you and your family at risk.
This is especially true if you use the calendar function in the device, use it to make payments, or have the speaker connected to your home’s security system.
A smart hacker could easily hack the speaker and gain access to your very personal details and even access your security system and disable it, leaving you vulnerable to intruders.
With that said, it’s best to limit the amount of information you have saved on your speaker and always keep the device disconnected and unplugged when you’re away from the house for an extended period of time.
Learn more about the potential risks of using Amazon’s Alexa
Electricity Meters and Thermostats
Along with entertainment, smart devices are also helping us keep track of our utilities. Smart meters and thermostats can reduce consumption and save us money. At the same time, they’re not as secure as they rarely require a password or login information.
As a result, this leaves them impressively vulnerable. And, if they’re linked to your other smart devices, a hacker could easily access them all.
Who would have ever thought that our refrigerators could become potential targets for hackers and cybercriminals? Unfortunately, they can.
Any smart fridge connected to your Wi-Fi network could potentially be hacked. From there, it can serve as a gateway to gain access to the other devices in your home. Therefore, it’s important to always keep your smart devices protected with a strong password and change it frequently.
Baby monitors have been around for a while but now they’re connected and accessible from anywhere. To do this, they connect to your Wi-Fi network. And, as we’ve covered, this creates an access point into your home for a hacker.
Despite having the ability, many parents don’t change the default password that comes with the baby monitor or they don’t implement any available security features. Therefore, by making the device visible to your wireless network, it also becomes visible to hackers, who could potentially gain remote access to the monitor’s speaker or camera.
Portable Gaming Consoles
Fortunately, most modern gaming consoles are protected via encryption protocols. Therefore, if you use a portable gaming device on your Wi-Fi network and change the password often, you shouldn’t run into any issues.
However, older video game devices, such as the first generation Nintendo DS consoles, are far more hackable. These older consoles don’t securely connect to Wi-Fi. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure to use a strong password in order to use the console online safely.
Even if you’re not using a state-of-the-art smart printer that orders itself new ink whenever it runs low, more simple Wi-Fi printers can still be hacked by cybercriminals.
Whether it’s to steal your banking information, to install malware onto your computer, or simply to steal information that you’ve previously printed or scanned, Wi-Fi enabled printers are an often forgotten access point for hackers.
Have you ever been hacked? What steps do you take to make sure it doesn’t happen? Let us know in the comments!