'Tis the season for ramping up home security! Whether you have pricey gifts under the tree, you’re heading away from home on vacation, or you’re just eager to snag that new smart gadget when it’s on sale, buying and installing a security camera could seem like a no-brainer.
You may want to think twice before welcoming a wireless security device into your home, though, because you could inadvertently be upping your vulnerability.
Connected devices susceptible to attacks
Arizona man Andy Gregg was in his yard, when he heard an unfamiliar voice coming from his house. His first thought was that his home had been broken into, but it turned out his newly installed Nest Cam IQ was talking to him. Well, sort of. A friendly Canadian with the group Anonymous had managed to hack into the security camera and was speaking through its mic to Gregg. Spooky, right?
The hacker used Gregg’s Nest as an example of just how easy it would be for a malicious person or group to take advantage of network or human weaknesses. The hacker recited a password Gregg had used on several websites – which is unfortunately something lots of people do, because it’s a heck of a lot easier than keeping track of dozens of passwords.
No completely safe tech
No device connected to wireless internet is safe by design or by default. Pay attention to what you’re buying and ask yourself:
-Is this product made by a company I know and trust?
-Do I have the time and motivation to update the software regularly?
-Am I willing to create a unique, secure password and use multi-factor authentication?
And most importantly:
-Do I really need this technology?
Even if your answer is "yes” to all the above, you’re still not hack-proof. People tend perceive the devices they’re buying as secure, but this is simply not the case! Until companies manufacturing them are held accountable by governments and laws, you’re taking a big risk by installing them in your home.