Recently the media was filled with stories about a Russian website that provided information on 73,000 unsecured webcams around the world including more than 11,000 in the United States that enabled anyone to hack into these unsecured webcams. The fault, in this instance, is less with the hackers and more with ourselves because these webcams were installed using easily obtained default logins and passwords. These default passwords are easy to find online. Generally when you hook up anything wireless to your router, it comes with a password and login so it is critical that whenever you install any of these Internet of Things devices, you should change the password and login to protect yourself, which leads us to my second concern – routers. A recent study by security company Avast found that about 80% of Americans do not properly secure their routers, leaving these people vulnerable to being hacked, such as where the hacker can direct someone to a phony website when the victim thinks he is going to a legitimate website. For example, someone thinking they are going to their bank’s website to do online banking will actually be sent to a fake website that appears to be that of their bank so when they provide their information to access their online banking account, they are actually handing over the keys to their bank account to a hacker. Many people still use either default passwords or easily guessed passwords, such as “password.”
Particularly as we connect to the Internet through more and more devices, it becomes increasingly important to be cognizant of maintaining proper security in all devices including, of course, routers and webcams. Laziness can have dire consequences. Never use default logins and passwords. As soon as you install any device that accesses the Internet, make sure that you protect yourself with secure logins and passwords.