4 Tech Devices That Can Compromise Your Home's Security - Home & Texture
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4 Tech Devices That Can Actually Compromise Your Home's Security

When it comes to home safety, sometimes the dangers of tech can be overlooked—here's what to be aware of.

March 12, 2024 at 6:35 PM PST

Technology is a big part of our everyday lives. So much so, that it’s hard to imagine a life without it. But even though tech can make life much more convenient, many people aren’t aware that certain devices can actually work against them. For this reason, having the help of an expert can certainly come in handy.

Fortunately, Trevor Cooke, the online privacy expert at EarthWeb, spoke with Home & Texture to provide a few helpful insights into the matter. To learn which household gadgets can do more harm than good for your home’s security, here are popular tech devices that help criminals break into your home.

Smart TVs

So many Americans own a smart TV, with many people having more than one in a single home. But even though this popular tech device is a common fixture in many U.S. households, owning one can actually put you at risk for theft.

According to Cooke, if you have a smart TV with old, outdated software, thieves can exploit these vulnerabilities by using malicious apps to monitor your online activity and potentially steal your sensitive data.

To prevent this from happening to you, be sure to keep your smart TV updated on a consistent basis. And keep in mind that the apps you select can be potentially dangerous, too. So use caution when downloading certain apps to your TV, and always use a strong, unique password that can’t be easily figured out.

For added precaution, try disabling special features like voice recognition or camera access when you’re not using them. While convenient, these features can potentially provide thieves with access to your data without you even knowing.

Photo credit: Yagi Studio

Voice-Activated Assistants

Voice-activated assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Nest are very popular, and for good reason. Not only do they provide hours of entertainment, but they also make tackling daily responsibilities way more convenient.

But while these specialized devices are a big part of our everyday lives, they can also make us more vulnerable to attacks.

This is because hackers tend to use phishing techniques or certain malware to break into these devices. And when that happens, they can control your other smart gadgets, and even listen in on your personal conversations.

If you have a voice-activated assistant, be careful about what you say when they’re nearby. For added security, Cooke recommends deleting any previous recordings so that hackers can’t have access to them, and staying on top of your privacy settings so you remain abreast of any potential threats.

Wi-Fi Routers

Wi-Fi routers work by linking each of your devices to the internet and one another. But if you fail to change your router’s default password, you become at a greater risk for hacking. With unauthorized access, criminals can watch your online activities, pilfer personal data, or introduce malware to connected devices in your home.

But fortunately, according to Cooke, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure you don’t fall prey to hackers:

  1. Change your router’s default settings.
  2. Use strong, unique passwords.
  3. Frequently update the router’s firmware.

Taking appropriate measures to protect yourself from potential security breaches is the easiest route to enjoying peace of mind that your home is safe and secure.

Photo credit: Grace Cary

Security Cameras

Many homeowners use security cameras for protection, but when they’re not used properly, they can have the opposite effect. Unsecured cameras are super easy for hackers to break into. And when they do, they can easily see inside and outside of your home, putting you and your loved ones at risk for harm.

To avoid this, make sure to buy cameras that are encrypted and employ strong passwords for protection. Additionally, always download the latest firmware updates, and ensure they’re connected to a secure network to thwart unauthorized access.

“Be careful with wireless printers and smart doorbells, locks, and baby monitors. Keep your apps and devices updated, replacing default passwords with new strong versions,” Cooke advises. “Then you can enjoy technology without having security headaches.”



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