Yes, All of These Smart Home Devices Can Be Hacked If You Do Not Set up Strong Passwords
Smart TVs, baby monitors, Wi-Fi enabled security cameras, and other similar devices make our daily tasks easier and more fun. However, while there is no denying such gadgets are convenient, a lot of users forget that smart home devices are hacked all the time. The time when hackers were interested in our computers alone is long gone, which is why it is crucial to take care of your smart home devices’ security. It might be hard to believe that some hacker could be interested in your smart TV or thermostat, which is why further in this blog post we talk about what cybercriminals could gain from hacking top targeted smart home devices. Of course, we will also talk about the steps you need to take to protect your gadgets.
What are the most targeted smart home devices?
If you think your Smart TV can only tell cybercriminals what kind of films or TV series you like to watch, you are wrong. Smart TVs have access to the Internet so that their owners could use them to watch Netflix, YouTube, photos or home videos, and so on. Also, they can contain various applications that could store your personal information or payment details. Consequently, hacking such smart home devices could allow hackers to gain lots of valuable information.
Your smart refrigerator might be the last of the devices you may expect cybercriminals would want to hack. Sadly, the reality is quite different. While such devices might not store any sensitive information, they could be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as other smart home devices, and this alone could be enough for hackers to show interest. As you see, hacking the refrigerator might allow them to gain access to other smart gadgets in your home. In other words, it could become a gateway to devices that may actually store sensitive information or be responsible for critical tasks.
These devices can have access to various sensitive documents that users may need to print or scan from time to time. Therefore, it is no wonder printers are one of the most targeted smart home devices. Not to mention, smart printers could also become gateways to other gadgets connected to the same network or even to the user’s computer since they are usually connected to such devices.
Wi-Fi Enabled Security Cameras
It is true that even smart home devices like security cameras can be used to terrorize us or obtain valuable information about us if they get hacked. The idea of someone watching us in our home where we are supposed to feel safe is horrifying. However, the violation of your privacy would be just one of the issues if someone hacked your security cameras. Being able to both watch and listen in on their victim the attackers could learn his routine, overhear pieces of sensitive information, and so on. Not to mention, cybercriminals could disable the security system.
Another situation that might make your skin crawl just by thinking about it is someone hacking your baby’s monitor. This could allow cybercriminals to gain remote access to the device’s speaker and camera. Meaning, hackers could watch your child or even speak to him. For instance, there was an incident during which a hacker threatened a family to kidnap their baby.
Smart thermostats are supposed to help users maintain the temperature they want at their homes, but once hacked these devices could be used to create unbearable conditions. For example, hackers could turn off the heating in winter or increase it on a hot summer day. There was even an incident during which hackers took control over the victim’s thermostat and demanded him to pay a ransom in exchange for giving it back.
Besides scaring the victim, gaining control of his other smart home devices, or stealing sensitive information, cybercriminals can use hacked devices for DDoS attacks. During such attacks, smart gadgets can be used to attack particular websites, networks, and so on.
How to protect your smart gadgets?
Now that you can imagine how scary it is when smart home devices are hacked, it is time to learn how to secure them. The truth is, in many cases changing the password is enough to keep the device protected. It is essential to resist the urge to use the same password you already gave to your other smart gadgets. In fact, it is best if the passcode is unique, which means it cannot be the same as the combination that protects your email account.
We realize many of you might be thinking right now how impossible it all sounds. If you are, we would like to remind you that you no longer have to remember your passwords. For instance, with Cyclonis Password Manager, you only have to remember your master password. With it, you can look up your other passwords at any time. Cyclonis can even log you into your email or other accounts automatically if you only let it. As for passwords of your smart home devices or applications accessible not via browser, you can keep them on Private Notes. This password manager has lots of other useful functions too, and if you want to learn about them, you should continue reading here.
Probably the scariest part when smart home devices are hacked is that we may not realize it for quite some time, and by the time we do, the damage could be already done. This is why we encourage you not to wait until something goes wrong and secure your devices if you have not done it yet, right away. Besides setting up strong passwords, there are also other things to consider. For example, many cybersecurity specialists agree that it is a good idea to employ a reliable security tool to guard the network your gadgets are connected to. For more tips on how to prevent smart home devices from getting hacked, you should continue reading here.