3 devices that are vulnerable to hacking
Connecting devices like your computer, your phone, and your TV to the internet makes information a lot easier to access, but it also leaves you vulnerable to hackers. In a world dominated by IoT, you cannot be sure who’s snooping in on your modern devices. Having a password or a PIN on your home Wi-Fi network, at a bank machine, or for an online purchase should prevent valuable identity information from being stolen, but are you sure you’re fully protected? Here are three devices you might not realize can be hacked right now.
If you have an internet-enabled baby monitor, your infant could be on the receiving end of a hacker’s weird imagination. Hackers taking over baby monitors have been known to curse and swear, post live feeds of sleeping infants on the internet, and make creepy noises. These instances show that having an unprotected device connected to the internet can compromise your privacy and seriously disturb your home life.
Before you choose a baby monitor, read reviews about their hacking vulnerability or consider an old-fashioned radio-type monitor. It might not be as convenient as an internet-capable model, but you’ll know that you’re the only one keeping an eye on your baby while you’re not in the room.
Having a smart thermostat to control your heating and cooling saves money on your energy bills, but setting programs on your internet-capable thermostat could also reveal your personal habits. Thermostat programs are often set for when you leave for work, when you go to sleep, and when you go on vacation.
Failing to change your login information for an internet-connected smart thermostat can leave it vulnerable, and unfortunately most smart thermostats don’t have the capability to set a password directly on the device. You’ll also have a hard time figuring out when your thermostat is compromised — unlike with a computer, you don’t get a screen notification or warning.
Google’s Nest thermostat is one of the most secure thermostats available, but it could still be hacked by a persistent criminal. If you’re in the market for a new smart thermostat be sure to pay attention to improvements in security and not just dazzling, convenient features.
Medical information is sensitive, and is protected by doctor-patient confidentiality and by standards set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act requires certain standards to be met for protecting patient information to ensure confidentiality, much the same way that the Data Security Standard used by the credit card industry dictates requirements for vendors to protect customer payment information.
Increasing connectivity helps doctors gather information to make better diagnoses and recommendations, but also puts medical information at risk. Hacked internet-connected hospital devices could potentially compromise test results, treatment plans, and medical records.
Without adequate security, hackers could potentially access, and in some cases alter, patient information. Researchers investigating the security of hospital devices found concerns about security practices like using default passwords and using the same passwords for multiple devices.
With modern devices embracing connectivity, it’s not just bank machines and home computers that are targets for hackers, but everyday devices and internet-connected equipment. Protecting personal information and maintaining privacy is difficult in a connected world, but by making smart consumer choices and using advanced security and encryption technology, it’s not impossible.