I have been warning you about dangers in the rapidly expanding Internet of things for more than five years.  The Internet of Things is made up of a broad range of devices connected to the Internet including home thermostats, security systems, medical devices, refrigerators, televisions, cars and toys.   Cybercriminals will hack into your devices that are a part of the Internet of Things to enable them to enlist your devices as a part of a botnet by which they can distribute malware while maintaining their anonymity. However, in a more direct threat to you, they also can hack into your Internet of Thing devices to access your home computers to steal information for purposes of identity theft or to implant malware on your home computers.  They do this by hacking your  vulnerable Internet of Things device and go through it to your router and then to your computer where they can steal information that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.

Recently the FBI issued a warning about the dangers presented by your smart TV.  Smart TVs pose greater risks to you than many of your other Internet of Things devices because many of these smart TVs also have cameras and microphones which can be hacked enabling the hackers to watch and listen to you.  This information can be used to blackmail you.

TIPS

Many of the devices that make up the Internet of Things come with preset passwords that can easily be discovered by hackers.  Change your password as soon as you set up the product.  Also, set up a guest network on your router exclusively for your Internet of Things devices.  Configure network firewalls to block traffic from unauthorized IP addresses and disable port forwarding.  Make sure that you install the latest security patches as soon as they become available.  Use encryption software for the transmission of data and find out where data is stored and what steps are taken to secure the information.  Also, limit the amount of information you provide when setting up the accounts for smart toys.  The less information out there, the less the risk of identity theft. Most devices allow you to select options that increase your security and privacy.  Finally make sure your router is secure and use its whitelisting capabilities which will prevent your device from connecting to malicious networks.

Specifically in regard to your smart TV make sure you know the camera and microphone capabilities of your television and check your smart TV’s settings which you can change to provide greater protection.

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