Between having smart devices that help run almost every facet of your home to having the ability to do almost everything from your smartphone, we live in a world where wearable and interconnected smart devices play a big part in our everyday lives.

While all this technology has made life considerably easier, it has also resulted in new safety concerns involving cyberattacks and hackers doing insidious things to the aforementioned smart devices.

So to keep you and your family safe from hackers and cyberattacks, we're going to take a look at ways to protect your privacy if you use any kind of smart device at home.

Just remember that if you need support or someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.

What devices are vulnerable to hackers and cyberattacks?

Due to how interconnected smart devices are these days, there are several in your house that pose a safety and privacy risk:

  1. Smart TVs - Hackers can remotely access your smart TV and use it for spying or moving malware to other connected devices.

    1. This can potentially lead to serious consequences, such as using streaming services to mine payment information, spying on your household, or accessing other devices in the network.

  2. Smart Refrigerators - Syncing your fridge with your Google Drive provides hackers with access to it.

  3. Smart Coffee Machines - Hackers can remotely access this through the app on your phone.

  4. Baby Monitors - These capture video/audio streams, monitor a baby’s movements, their heart rate, and trigger emergency alarms. However, hackers can speak to family members by using the device or needlessly trigger alarms.

  5. Security Systems - All it takes is one camera being exposed for your whole system to be breached.

  6. Thermostats - Hackers can take control of your thermostat and hold it ransom by cranking up the heat to make you pay huge bills and won’t stop until you pay them.

  7. Voice-activated Speakers - Hackers can access these for personal information, including your bank account details, credit card info, and travel schedules.

  8. Picture Frames - These can carry malware that can be passed on to your home computer. Hackers can also use a hacked device’s light sensors to monitor activities in your home.

  9. Garage Door Openers - These make it possible for hackers to remotely control your garage door and find out when you leave for work.

  10. Home Wi-Fi - Depending on what is connected to your router, the damage can range from accessing your Google account and tracking your activities to stealing your identity and breaking into your house.

  11. Smart Cars - Simply connecting your smartphone through your car’s USB port can provide hackers with a way to access your data. Hackers can steal the actual car, alter alert systems, or even prevent the emergency brake system from working.

  12. Drones - These are susceptible to hijacking. Hackers can use a hacking device or hardware to take control of the drone and either steal videos and photos or the device itself.

Tips on securing your smart home devices

If you're using a number of smart devices in your home, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from hackers and cyberattacks:

  • Consider what you actually need and if it serves a useful purpose.

    • It's tempting to deck your house out with smart devices, but it's important to consider the balance between security and privacy. A security camera is reassuring from a physical safety perspective but there's a privacy risk with using one, likewise with a voice assistant like Alexa.

  • Secure your Wi-Fi network.

    • Use a strong password, consider changing the SSID (which is just the name of your Wi-Fi network), and consider using the highest security protocol available (usually it's WP2 but newer routers have WPA3).

  • Manage your account passwords using a password manager.

  • Enable two-factor authentication on devices.

  • Replace any outdated routers and keep the firmware of your devices up-to-date.

  • Try to split up your network by keeping sensitive data on a separate system from other IoT devices.

    • IoT stands for 'Internet of things', which are basically non-standard computing devices that can connect wirelessly to a network and can transmit data, such as a smart fridge or a smart home device.

  • Continually monitor your network for vulnerabilities.

  • Install a malware detection tool and firewall on your computer/laptop.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from: Android Authority, Clario, Digital Trends, and PC Mag

Image credit: BENCE BOROS at Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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