Security Of Smart Home Gadgets: Can They Spy On You?

Smart home gadgets are getting smarter and smarter to the point where they can literally take control over our day to day tasks. And while that may not seem strange at first, the reality is that we tend to rely more and more on these devices on a daily basis. From here to forgetting how to do various tasks can be just a small step. So, you do have to wonder, are the smart home gadgets useful for you or not, and more importantly, are these gadgets spying on you?

These Electronic Smart Home Gadgets Are Always Connected

And as you can imagine, always connected means that you can access them from wherever you want in the entire world. You just need to have an internet connection, and you can easily turn these on or off. Or, alternatively, you can use your smartphone to access these functions.

The problem is that everything which is always connected can deal with issues, and one of them is remote access and hacking. Since you can access these smart devices from anywhere in the world, it’s safe to say that a good hacker can easily access your home devices as well. From starting your smart appliances to opening your smart door, it’s safe to say that high tech thieves can easily surpass the features of these cool gadgets. And as you can imagine, from here to some horrific issues it will be just one minor step in the end.

Plus, you also have video camera systems which are extremely helpful for protecting your home. Being able to see who visits you or what potential attackers are at your doorstep is certainly helpful, but the reality is that such technology also has a darker side as well.

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You can also listen to what’s going on in your area, and that can obviously be an unintended and unlawful use of the entire system. It’s very important to make sure that you have complete control over electronic gadgets and smart home solutions like this. But the simple fact that you are connected to the web at all times does go to show that you are never going to have full control over them. In fact, some prying eyes can end up accessing your devices and even worse, your personal information that you store on these.

Even if we live in a connected world, we don’t live in a safe world. It’s sad, but we will always have to deal with people that do unlawful actions like these. That’s why we have to do all in our power to eliminate things like this. The more we focus on eliminating these problems, the better the results will be in the end.

How Do Hackers Get Access To Smart Home Devices?

Most of the time you will see that these devices don’t really have a very good security system attached to them or the customers don’t know how to use them. Cheaper IoT devices don’t have a lot of security integrated with them, but they don’t have too many functions. The problem is that most devices tend to come with a default password, and people just don’t go ahead to change it. So, they keep the original password which obviously gets cracked very fast by a good hacker.

And yes, there have been lots of attacks in the US alone that targeted the home users and their connected devices. This is a real threat and one that you need to focus on as much as possible. That’s especially true when it comes to the recording devices like video cameras. A hacker can easily gain access to these, and they can see when you are home, what you are doing and so on. But the worst part is that they also get to know when you are away and you can deal with thieves due to that.

We update our computers and phones to the latest versions; we always try to keep our personal data safe on all of our devices. But the smart home gadgets are also items that are connected to the web, so they will always have to deal with this sort of threat. In fact, not a lot of people know this, but these devices have their operating system, and they can be hacked with great ease. It’s very easy to do this kind of hack, and that’s worrisome for people that want to protect their privacy.

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Most of the smart home devices have a very simple way to access them. That’s great, but in doing so, they remove some of the security aspects. Once the hacker knows the victim name, they can find their social media account, and from there to finding the email address and breaking it to gain access, it will be one single step. If the hacker has all that information, then he can gain access to the entire life and your schedule, payments, and other information.

You can imagine that these devices communicate with one another. So, if a hacker gains access to your video camera, he or she can also gain access to a smart fridge, your smart TV and so on. Here you may have credit card information or other relevant info stored, among others. So yes, it’s very easy for a smart home enthusiast to get lost in the details, and the worst part is that you will get to deal with all these major issues in the long run. Granted, it can take a bit of time to iron out all the kinks, making sure that you upgrade your security, change passwords and even create an individual password for each smart device will help you quite a lot in the long term.

Are All Smart Home Devices Secure?

The answer is simple, no! You will note that there are lots of smart home gadgets on the market, and many of them have gotten incredibly cheap. But as always, cheap doesn’t mean good, so you have to find a way to balance the cost and value to see whether the results are great or not in the end. It’s estimated that in 2020 we will have around 212 billion connected items, so the technology is advancing at a very rapid pace.

But the reality is that most of the inexpensive devices like this don’t even allow you to set a password. A hacker can easily access these devices and spy on you if he or she wants to. So, even if using such a device can be a good idea, it can also be turned against you.

According to Mirror, Cybercrime is estimated to be worth around 34 billion pounds a year. This is a huge industry, and it mostly thrives on virus attacks, social media profile stealing, spam, identity theft, ransomware and so on. As you can see, all these attacks happen on the internet, and they appear directly towards websites that already have a login and password system.

You can imagine that many of these connected devices don’t have a password. As a result, you are holding an open buffet where you unwillingly share your private information with an anonymous person. But if that person wants, he/she can do a lot of harm to you!

Can Updates Help?

Yes, updates can indeed help, if your smart home gadgets are indeed offering this type of feature. Updates are always going to come in handy because they end up protecting you from attackers as fast as possible. They bring in front all the features that you may need when it comes to protecting your relevant information quickly and with great results. In fact, this is the only line of defense that you have against these persons, and at the end that can be quite helpful for sure.

Updates are very important, and they usually tend to be managed by the central unit in your home, which is either a laptop, computer or a tablet. Either way, you have to make sure that you check for any updates regularly. The reason is simple: companies always receive comments and replies when it comes to specific vulnerabilities that their devices may have. So, handling the security of your device properly can indeed pay off a lot as long as you know if that device allows you to receive updates and set a password.

When you purchase smart appliances or electronic gadgets that connect to the internet, you don’t know where your information goes. Even if you believe that nothing leaves your home, that’s not the case. In fact, the Government has admitted that it will soon start using smart home gadgets to spy on you.

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Federal agencies always try to find some new ways to spy on potential attackers, so using smart home gadgets seems like a perfect venue for something like this. Information like that would come in handy for an investigation, but on the other hand, it does tend to come with its own set of challenges. Who has access to this type of information? Are those people responsible when it comes to the way they use this information? Some unlawful people can easily use personal information like this for unwanted or just maleficent purposes.

There’s no denying that this has been quite a problem in recent years because the government has always tried to exploit the internet of things. But in the next year or so, they will finally be able to do this legally.

In fact, even the Fitbit data was used in court multiple times, so nothing that connects to the internet is yours alone. The information can be shared with millions of other people, and it can be used in court if the need arises.

This only goes to show that you’re not safe at all nowadays, and using the Internet of Things devices will just end up exposing you to attacks. That doesn’t mean using IoT devices is a bad thing. It’s only that it can create a lot more worrisome situations and you want to avoid all of that.

How To Increase The Security Of Your Smart Home?

  • The first thing you want to do is to secure any wireless network in your home. This will help you avoid any exposure to your data or passwords.
  • Then you should consider setting a new password for each device. This way it will be impossible for a hacker to access all devices, so you will lock everything down and isolate all devices unless you know the passwords and access all of them.
  • Creating a secondary Wi-Fi network for your smart devices will help improve the overall results as well. You can use the primary network for your tablets, computers, and phones, but the second one should be used solely for the smart devices. As we mentioned earlier, updating the firmware and software for all your smart devices will also come in handy.
  • Use a firewall if possible as well. The firewall will let you know about incoming, unwanted connections and you can easily eliminate those. These can come from potential hackers or attackers, and they are the entry point for a lot of trouble. So, avoiding those is a crucial aspect for sure.
  • We also recommend you to add a two-step authentication system. These systems are always helpful because they increase your security tenfold and you never have to worry about dealing with any attackers ever again. It’s very hard for hackers to break two-step authentication systems, so you should consider opting for this type of authentication if necessary. MAC filtering can also work since this assigns a unique MAC address to any device and this can lead to some amazing results in no time.
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While smart home devices can spy on you, it’s important to note that you can fight against attackers and hackers as well. Keep the firmware up to date, change passwords often and make sure that you don’t share sensitive information with other people. This will help you stay away from attackers, and in the end, it can lead to an improved personal security and fewer chances to be hacked in the long run!

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