On Your Side: Prevent hack attacks on your 'smart home' devices
"Smart homes" sure can make life easier, but they also open you up to hackers. One recent study found that smart homes can experience up to 12,000 hack attempts per week. And most people don't even know it's happening.
From smart TVs to baby monitors, even smart appliances and lightbulbs, anything in your house that connects to wi-fi is prone to hacks.
So what if someone hacks my stove? Well, they could turn it on and start a house fire. Or if you have a baby monitor, they could be watching your child, or watch you to study your habits to see when you come and go.
"These devices also can be an entrance point into other devices on your home network," said Harald Remmert, chief technology officer, Digi International. "So your stove could be the entry point into your router and then eventually into your work laptop."
So what can you do to hack-proof these smart devices?
- You need a strong and unique password. Never use the default password or username. And make sure you don't share passwords across devices.
- Make sure your device has upgraded software. If you have an old smart device and you haven't had a software update in quite some time, it may be time to get a new one.
- A quality router with a good firewall that can detect and prevent attacks is worth the money.
- And it's very important to have security software on your computer to let you know if there is unusual activity.
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