Consumers Who Are Too Connected at Home Are at Greater Risk of Being Hacked

The increased use of connected devices in the home means the probability that your cameras watching for intruders or temperature control monitor can be hacked is mounting as consumers are not boosting the security of their networks.

Being too connected within your home can make you a victim of a cyber attack as the sale of smart-connected home devices continue to surge, because they are becoming more affordable and commonplace.

The number of connected devices is estimated to reach 4 billion in the consumer sector this year and is predicted to rise to 13.5 billion in 2020, according to Gartner, a Stamford, Conn.-based information technology research and advisory company. Smart devices now include household appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers along with light bulbs, cameras and sensors.

Large-scale attacks by hackers have not occurred yet since the operating systems are diverse, but as they become more ubiquitous, the likelihood will rise.

Fears of Big Brother or cyber criminals watching people in their homes due to internet-connected devices with vulnerable defaults or outdated software are not unfounded. Hackers who gain access into a live video feed and download it onto websites for people to pay for the footage already exist, said Michael Gregg, COO of Superior Solutions, a Houston-based cybersecurity firm. Here is a list of open insecure cameras.

Since average users often fail to understand the importance of patching, updating and securing home devices, they are making it easier for hackers to infiltrate the system, he said.

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