Hackers are trying to access your information every day. One of the biggest vulnerabilities might be your smart home devices.
“Once people have broken into a single device, then typically what they will do is what we call pivot, so they own, if you will, a particular device,” said Steve Beaty, a computer security expert and professor of computer science at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.
“And now, all of a sudden, they're inside and most of our devices then trust the networks that they're on,” Beaty said.
He mentioned an example from 2017, where hackers were able to hack into a high-tech fish tank at a casino. From there, they were able to steal more important data from that casino.
This has been happening for years, but it’s getting more common especially as we add more smart devices to our homes, including doorbells, baby monitors, and thermostats.
Hackers can break in and steal passwords or important information, but they can also control anything you have on the network, like a garage door opener for example.
“Maybe they can disarm your security system,” Beaty said. “As the Internet of things has grown, and we have more and more and more devices out there, then we have more vulnerabilities.”
How can you prevent this from happening to you?
First, keep device software up to date.
“Change the default password on all of your devices,” Beaty said.
You can also install antivirus software or use multi-factor authentication on some devices. And in some cases, it might be time for a new upgrade all together.
“I would say specifically webcams, including things like baby monitors, newer is better,” Beaty said.