The Internet-of-Things, aka the Interest-of-Thieves

With rising concerns about identity theft and hacking in today’s data-driven world, it is important to know where security risks lie that might not be obvious. Internet-of-Things (IoTs), from coffee makers that are programmed to turn on when the user wakes up, to children’s toys that can connect to the Internet, have allowed certain features that have consumers saying, “how cool!”

But these Internet-connected devices usually require entering personal information about your home address, phone number, birthdate and more to set up your account and enable the WiFi connection. These “cool” features create a cause for concern as it provides a new way for hackers to access your personal information and identity.

A recent article by ABC Chicago covered the risks of having Internet-connected devices without secure passwords. Not only can other devices be easily hacked through the wireless connection after accessing one device, but the cameras in these devices can be used to spy on the user’s home–an even more frightening thought, especially for families with kids who may have WiFi-enabled toys.

Imagine a thief having a key to your bicycle lock, which then allowed them to access your car key, garage passcode and the key to your home. Soon they would have complete access to learn as much about you as possible and steal your information. This is effectively what can happen on a digital scale through IoTs if you do not use secure passwords. With new gadgets in your home after the holidays, now is a great time to make sure that your home is more secure by protecting your online identity.

Aside from hackers who want access to your personal information, marketers and retailers want to be able to read our habits across devices to discover more about us. Computers and location-tracking features are being added to many devices, from heart rate monitors and other health devices to cars and even refrigerators.

Homeowners can access their home security systems and electricity via their Smartphones, and all of these devices require entering personal information into the account. While it is not illegal for them to conduct this cross-device tracking, you can safeguard your identity as much as possible by using a password manager and using masked credit cards and email addresses to protect your private information.

Smart refrigerators are also at risk, and have even been used to hack into email accounts.

This does not mean that you should throw away your computer and completely get off the grid. Many IoTs do provide useful features, and it is nearly impossible to work or live in the modern world without technology and a release of some information. This is a reminder to be proactive and stay as secure as possible by limiting tracking and creating strong, unique passwords for each account.

Blur can help to create and manage those safe passwords for all of your WiFi-enabled devices, as well as your other accounts across the Internet. You can manage these accounts on your computer and your mobile device or tablet. By creating a strong, unique password for each device and account in your home, you can protect yourself and your family from hackers accessing one–and thus all–of your IoTs.  




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