How Your Household Items Could Be Spying On Your “Everything”

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In this day and age, where every other item in your house has an internet connection, microphone, speaker, camera and GPS, it’s really easy for anyone from hackers to your own government to spy on you and your activities. The ever-growing IoT (Internet of Things) is making this a regular part of our lives,

We wanted to make sure that you fully understand the dangers of having all of this spy stuff in your home, so we’ve decided to go into some more detail when it comes to things that you own and that can be used for collecting data about your everyday life, habits and alike.

Devices With Camera

Both your laptop and your smart TV have a camera and the internet access, and that is all that someone needs to start their new hobby of spying on your every move. This can be really easily done by any hacker if your internet connection isn’t secured. It’s a terrible invasion of privacy, and the biggest example of this are the events that occurred back in 2013 when a 20-year-old named Jarred James Abrahams hacked Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf’s laptop camera and recorded her for some time.

Old Passwords Are Like Open Doors

That leads us to our second entry, and this time, it’s about the security of your internet connection. You can never make it 100% secure, but you can try to aim as high as possible and do whatever you can to prevent attackers from infecting your devices.

The password for your Wi-Fi is something that you can and must change as soon as possible, and the stronger password you change it into, the better. A strong password should be made through a combination of letters, symbols, numbers, random words strapped together and alike. Whatever you do, don’t use things like your birthday, Social Security number and other things that are important in your life, because those will be the first ideas in the mind of someone who’s trying to hack you.

Apps That Affect The World Around You

It’s really cool when you download an app that can tell your coffee maker when to start doing its thing, or that automatically opens your garage door when you come back from work. But no matter how awesome these apps are, they’re also quite dangerous for your safety, since they gather all of the information that someone can steal, study, learn your habits and use this knowledge to rob you of many things, including your identity.

Information is a dangerous thing to have, for example, if someone knows where you hang out and when do you go there, they might steal your credit card without you even noticing for days or even weeks. Not even your bank will know, since the thief knows where you go and what you do, and they can enjoy free stuff by mimicking your behavior.

You can’t do much about the information that’s being sent to the companies that have made the apps you’re using, but you can make sure that you won’t leave your phone’s “back door” open, and connect to random Wi-Fis around you, since they’re the most often used way for information theft.

Geolocation Tools Can Also Give Away Your Habits

If you own some modern products, whether it’s a Smart TV or a washer and dryer with new tech installed, chances are that they can reach out to their manufacturers and connect to their network. Many companies do put this kind of tech so that they would check their product’s performance.

However, this can also be used to discover your exact location, using habits, and similar information. Now imagine if someone hacked these companies’ database and got all of this info about you. And now try and remember how many new-age, Smart products you have in your home. By using this method, a hacker can study your everyday life and learn about your routine, which can then be used to determine lots of things, including when will your home be empty. Just something to think about next time you go shopping for Smart fridge or something like that.

What you can do about it is to question the sellers of these items and try to find out how good their security is, what are the risks of them being hacked, and how are they planning to prevent such incidents.

Linking Devices Creates Security Risks

Linking devices might sound convenient, and it would be if there were no hackers that might use this to their advantage. All they need is one bad link, and they can use it to access the chain and follow your every activity. There are two ways that you can make your home secure and stop potential thieves: either don’t link your devices together or encrypt your WiFi router.

Wi-Fi routers are the weakest link in the security chain. All they have in terms of protection is a password that is likely to be cracked by a skilled, experienced attacker, and then your entire home is in their hands. Encrypting the routers should work, and it won’t make a perfect, flawless, hack-resistant system that you’d like, but it’s good enough to prevent every small hacker from knowing your every move.

Learn To Control Your Home Security Systems

If you have a home security system, like video cameras posted around, or maybe lights that can be turned on via tablet or phone, then you could be monitored by hackers right now. Having these systems installed by amateurs might leave a bunch of flaws in the process, and even the smallest one can cost you your safety and security.

Not only can you be observed by others, but they can also disable those same systems when they finally think that they know you, your habits and your home well enough for a surprise visit. You can prevent this by leaving the security to the professionals, hire a company or a team that has experience and knowledge, and that can make your security system truly safe and operational.

Watch Out For Hidden Microchips

Several incidents around the world have already shown that the things you buy don’t even need to be connected to the internet in order to cause you trouble. For example, there was an incident in Russia where Chinese teapots were found to have implanted listening devices. The same thing can happen to you, and anything you buy can potentially carry around a device that can sneak past your security once it’s safely stored inside your home. It can then be used to steal information, or simply cause havoc, just for fun. If you want to prevent this, the only advice we have is to buy things from places with certain, professional reputation, and avoid merchandise with brands you don’t recognize. Also, buying stuff from suspicious websites is also not that great idea, no matter how low their prices are.

Sounds And Pictures Also Give Away A Lot Of Data

All of the video, audio and picture files that you have ever made with your tablet, phone or similar device possess a lot more info than just what they show or say. Skilled hackers can extract that info and discover the crazy amount of details about the file in question, including time and the exact place where it was made, and we’re talking about real, precise coordinates here. Complete strangers could use this info and find out where you live or analyze it and discover other details that might put your privacy, and also your safety, in danger. You should adjust your tablet and smartphone and make them drop a number of details that they’re recording into each file, which is the only way to protect yourself in this situation.

We live in a day and age of information exchange, where everything has internet access, and everyone has access to everyone else. This can’t be changed. What can be changed is how we perceive the situation, and what we do to make ourselves safe. Keep in mind the possibilities from above, and know that there are many other dangers that the internet connection might bring. We agree that convenience is a big part of today’s life, and you should use all the means at your disposal to make your life comfortable, but do it in a smart way, and protect yourself from those that might harm you.

Ali is a freelance journalist with 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.

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