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The Internet of Things is still at an early adoption stage, but it's already changing the way that we live our lives. 2008 was the year there were more devices online than people. By the year 2019, it's estimated that 1.9 billion devices that connect homes to the Internet will be in place. That's 1.9 billion opportunities for hackers to get into your home.

So What Is The Internet of Things?

Steve Weisman, a professor at Bentley University in Boston and the proprietor of, explains the Internet of Things as any device that's connected to the Internet. "Your fridge can tell you when it needs repairs," he says. "You can raise or lower the heat from afar. It can make a lot of things easier."

"The problem is that when most of these were developed, they didn't build in security," Weisman said, noting that last year, Hewlett-Packard Security Research found that most common "things" on the Internet of Things had security flaws. "90% of them used weak passwords and unencrypted wireless," Weisman added.

Since your home security system is only as good as its weakest link, that means that your fridge might be just the gateway hackers need to get into your home security system. "If you can hack into a fridge, you can maybe hack into the mobile phone using the same network," he says.

The Internet of Things and Your Privacy...

Gabe Gumbs, an Internet of Things security expert and the vice president of strategy at Identity Finder, says that people will need to be extra cautious about guarding their private information in an Internet of Things world. "There's a sector of the criminal population that's going to use the information gathered by the Internet of Things for their own gains," he says.

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You might not have given a lot of thought to just how your fridge can make you a target for crime. It's not exactly the most intuitive concept to grasp. However, hackers, in conjunction with burglars, could use your energy and heat consumption to know when the best time to break into your house is. Or they could use a connected device to track your every move to know when you're out of the house.

"It's early," says Weisman. He notes that in the U.K., there have been cases where thieves have unlocked and started cars using connected devices. "Cars are much more vulnerable than people realize," he says.

Gumbs says that to start, a lot of the crime will be mischief rather than malice. "Someone could lock you in your house and turn the heat up," he says. "Or they could turn the heat off. That might not be a big deal in Florida, but it's a big deal in the northeast."

Keeping Your Connected Devices Safe...

Gumbs says that there aren't a lot of options out there right now for the security conscious, tech-forward consumer. "Ultimately, security will come from a reaction. You might see Internet of Things firewalls in the future, but they don't really exist now." So what can you do? "You have the option to not become an early adopter, but I don't think that's the right answer," he says.

"The information is out there even for unsophisticated criminals," says Weisman. "We're still try early in the Internet of Things. For the most part, companies aren't doing their jobs to prevent these threats. So consumers have to expect that there will be attacks. There haven't been any significant attacks yet, but they're coming."

Both Weisman and Gumbs recommended the standard battery of Internet security: keep your devices software up to date, including the operating system, the firmware and the Internet security suite; lock down your home network as best you can, perhaps even with an encrypted router; keep backups of everything so that if you become a victim of something like ransomware, where you can't access the information without paying the ransom; and wait for better solutions to come along.

"Things won't change until consumers demand it," says Gumbs.