IDAHO — During the pandemic, the demand for smart home devices is on the rise. Unfortunately, the rush to buy products like the Amazon Echo or Google Nest means new cybersecurity risks, opening the door for scammers.
Rebecca Barr from the Better Business Bureau wants to remind everyone that any device connected to the internet is a cybersecurity threat. That means the more online products you have in your home, the more vulnerable you are to an attack. Within the next 12 months, over 80 million U.S. households intend to purchase a new type of smart home device, meaning scams will likely be on the rise.
So what are scammers looking for exactly? Smart home products keep track of unique personal information such as when you are home or away and your daily routine. Many also connect to some of your most frequently accessed online accounts like streaming services, which are powered by payment information. A hacker could take control of your smart device, access your data, and steal your identity without much effort.
To protect your information, remember these simple tips:
• Use trusted brands only. If you’re looking to add a smart device to your home, reputation means everything. Prioritize products made by established brands with a track record of providing quality protection. Devices made by start-ups or lesser-known brands may be more affordable, but you’re usually sacrificing the security of your data. Consumer reviews of popular brands are available at BBB.org.
• Change your passwords. Then do it again. Consider changing them one more time after that. Reusing the same username and password exposes all your accounts if one account gets hacked. Always use unique login information.
• Secure your network. Your home Wi-Fi network is the gateway to your data so act like it. Set up a password for your modem or router. Don’t rely on default passwords for your smart home devices either. Those are easy obstacles for hackers to work around.
For more cybersecurity tips, click here.