Think you have nothing to lose? Think again!

Nowadays, smart gadgets, such as light bulbs, toasters, and sockets have internet connectivity to communicate with us — and each other — making our lives better and more exciting.

However, some smart devices and appliances are not built around security, which means hackers can break into our lives, and pockets, invade our privacy or worse, mess with our hearts.

BBC once reported that a security company was able to hack into a home network by posing as a new bulb joining the system, tricking the other bulbs into giving away the username and password of the network they were connected to.

This basically means that hackers can access your credit card information while you’re shopping online, go through your family photos, or even attack a government website with your smart fridge.

Medical smart devices have also become a reality, with smart pacemakers and insulin pumps becoming mainstream. However, they’re not without risk, as security researchers pointed out. US Vice President Dick Cheney’s cardiologist took his pacemaker offline because of fears that a hacker might take control of it and stop his heart.

But don’t let all this drag you down. There are steps you can take to ensure your smart devices are secure. Just make sure you think about security when you get that new shiny Internet-connected gadget.

Check out this video for easy tips and tricks to make your smart home safer.

7 comments

  • By Herbert Yarmo - Reply

    You’ve left out what to do about it. Do you have a solution? How does it work?

  • By Cliff Rees - Reply

    What is the point about warning us against these smart devices and telling us there are steps that can be taken without telling us what steps to take. You tell us to think about it which is why I am writing this comment.

  • By Richard Purdy - Reply

    I agree. I don’t have time or patience enough for sites that don’t provide what they promise.

  • By Dave Fisher - Reply

    The notion that these devices improve our lives is an illusion and another example of a technology assumed to be worthwhile just because it’s doable. It’s also an obvious way to build planned obsolescence into virtually everything we buy. And finally, it’s pure derivative technology-why are we celebrating this?

  • By Bogdan Botezatu - Reply

    This article is part of a 5-piece series. Our tips and tricks on how to protect your smart home can be seen in the last part of the series, which is available here: Tips and tricks to make your smart home safer

  • By Jim - Reply

    Here we go again with the fallacy that the burden should be placed on the INDIVIDUAL for self-protection from the vulnerabilities we are exposed to from profit (only) motivated corporations. As if we all should get our own guns (i.e., only the protection each one of us can afford) and eliminate laws, police, and defense forces. If corporation X wants to sell a product, then corporation X should be required to ensure that the product does not cause user harm.

    • By Bogdan Botezatu - Reply

      Hey there, Jim.

      Don’t take it like that, but, in all honesty, there isn’t really much security built into the current generation of IoT devices. Looking at what happened as of late, there is no such thing as security by design. Some users – particularly the ones who understand what they face in the ever-growing smart home – decide to take the matter into their own hands and deal with security at a local level. Your analogy with guns is partially correct: in a modern society, guns are (or aren’t, if you live in Europe 🙂 ) an extra layer of defense to complement the law and regulations that are enforced upon us. The IoT is highly unregulated and the $0.99 gadgets from China flooding users’ homes are riddled with serious bugs. Some times they end up taking down your network, other times they are used to take down the Internet.

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