Smart Devices Aren't Always So Smart—and Could Be the Leak That Lets Cybercriminals Into Your Home
Admit it: You’ve been reading a bit too much about a certain deadly virus that can kill human beings. Relative to that, viruses that can cause your home network to fail or steal your identity are minor. Still, the headache from having your credit card hacked or your kid’s face splashed in dark corners of the web should alarm you. And yet, about a third of all Americans owned a smart speaker circa 2018, and market research firm IDC said last fall that smart devices (including locks, lightbulbs, cameras, robo vacuums, etc.) were expected to grow at an annual rate of 23 percent, with 815 million such semi-sentient widgets shipping by the end of last year.
What’s the connection? Smart devices were a bit late to the party when it comes to data privacy protections, and hackers, just as they are with attacking your web browsing, are increasingly clever. Still, for all the fears, there’s some basic advice everyone can and should do to protect themselves, and it’s not as scary as you think. Also, remember that, as with coronavirus, the basics protect you from most of the risks.