17 Everyday Things You Didn’t Know Could Be Hacked

More and more, common items we regularly use are becoming connected, making things more convenient not only for us, but for hackers, too. Here's how to protect your home—and your family.

Smart TVs

Led TV on TV stand with black wallJTaI/Shutterstock

A hacked smart TV presents problems on many levels. A prankster could switch channels on you, order movies you don't want, or blast the volume when you least expect it. On another level, a hacked TV can have a direct impact on your security and safety, according to Andrew Newman, CEO and founder of Reason Software Company. Hackers can mine your TV apps (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) for payment information and can use your TV as a gateway to get into other connected devices in your home. "Researchers have found that many manufacturers set the same default passwords for the same type of devices, and often users don't change them. This means that if you have ten network-connected devices and at least one of them you didn't take care of—the whole network is compromised." Change your passwords every three to six months to protect yourself, and make sure you heed these other 20 secrets from home security installers to keep your property safe.

Thermostats

hand adjusting air conditioner button at 70 degree Fahrenheit in the apartment for comfortableNavinTar/Shutterstock

While it's cost-effective and handy to be able to control the temperature of your home while you're out—say cranking up the AC when you're headed home from the office—smarthome systems are vulnerable, says Jason Hart, VP and CTO for Data Protection at Gemalto. "Hackers can control a thermostat and crank up the heat until the owner pays a ransom."

Baby monitors

The closeup baby monitor for security of the babySaklakova/Shutterstock

Baby monitors are often connected to your WiFi network, because you want your mobile app to be able to connect to it at any time. That becomes a problem, because, as Eitan Bremler, co-founder and VP of product at Safe-T, explains, "Most people don't change their baby monitor's default password and make it visible to the Wi-Fi network, meaning that any hacker can scan for transmitting IPs and find it." If and when that happens, that means hackers can tune in and watch your baby and you at any time of day. To ensure your monitor is not hacked, Bremler recommends doing the following: 1. If the product supports it, make it invisible to Wi-Fi scans. 2. Change the default password to one of your own made up of a random sequence of letters, numbers, and characters. That should keep burglars at bay, just like these 21 other things burglars don't want you to know.

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