Technology has paved the way for convenience in every area of our lives, from our cars to our offices to our homes. But while we take advantage of all the possibilities technology offers, there are risks involved.
Often referred to as “the internet of things” or “the connected world,” the integration of wireless technology that runs our homes, alarm systems, thermostats, refrigerators, lights, vehicles and more can be easily hacked, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). While we’ve embraced this new technology, it has come with unintended consequences, such as the theft of personal and financial information in data breaches.
The BBB outlines various ways our technology can cause risk.
Modern smart TVshave features that allow them to harvest information about our watching habits that can then be sold to third parties. One preventive tip involves disconnecting your television from the internet when it isn't being used.
Computers have built-in cameras and microphonesthat hackers have managed to turn on in order to spy on unwitting victims. Security-conscious users routinely keep the camera covered when they're not using it.
If you use a baby monitor,perhaps you’ve heard conversations and arguments coming from your neighbor's house. If so, that means they can probably hear you. High-tech baby monitors use your wireless routers and the internet to allow you to keep track of your residence when you're not at home. Unfortunately, the information sent over the internet is not encrypted. In other words, it can be intercepted.
We can be tracked almost anywhere we go.Billboards, stores, malls and other locations can pick up your wifi signal, collect your information and share or sell it to other parties without revealing who will use it and how.
Smart car entertainment centerscan be hacked, allowing access to remotely steer, accelerate or hit your car's brakes. Headlights and other systems can also be infiltrated as well.
Wireless and internet connections can operate security cameras,lights, alarm systems, thermostats and door locks. In the wrong hands, these capabilities would be extremely dangerous.
The best way to secure your newly-connected world, says the BBB, is to research as much as you can, contact a manufacturer if you have any security questions or concerns, and ensure that you change the passwords on your wireless routers and all of your smart devices, rather than leaving the default password. Not only can default passwords for devices easily be found online, but they can be used to compromise your personal and financial information.
The best defense is to understand how these new devices work and what we can do to make them as safe as possible from the prying eyes of hackers.
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