Be aware of these threats from the Internet of Things

Internet of Things IoT

Have you ever imaged your refrigerator or coffee maker being a threat to you? Probably not. That’s a problem of sci-fi and the future, right?

With the Internet of Things (IoT), the future is becoming the present. More and more IoT devices are coming into everyday life. We pay attention to how convenient it is for our thermostat to know when we’re coming home and therefore turn on the air or heating, and how our jackets can tell us about our health. We often don’t pay attention to how it transmits that information to an outside source. The IoT is a huge advantage for the modern world, but it has some dangers as well. Here are five that you should be on the lookout for.

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  1. Your Fridge Opening Doors to the Rest of Your Network

Public networks are extremely hackable. This encourages you to stay away from internet cafes, but have you ever considered that your freezer is selling you out? Internet-connected refrigerators are one of the least safeguarded internet-connected devices you can have, and since they have access to your network in order to transmit information to your phone so it can better perform, hackers can use this as a gateway into the rest of your devices. In simple terms, hackers can gain access to your fridge and have access to your personal computer shortly after.

  1. Home Security Camera Feeds Can be Viewed from Afar

You installed a set of cameras for home security or keeping an eye on your dog while you’re away. Can your security camera be the least secure thing in your house? By connecting to your mobile device via the internet, those installed cameras can also be accessed by outside hackers, who can view the camera feed online. This is not only a huge invasion of privacy and can lead to some very unsavory videos being released online, but it can also be used as a tool to scope out your house for a robbery.

  1. Google Glass Selling You Out

Internet-connected glasses still exist, and make it possible to digitalize all elements of your daily life. But since this headgear is internet-connected, it can be hacked remotely, and this means cyber terrorists are able to see what you see at all times. Not only can they glean personal information from you, such as observing your PIN number as you buy something at the store, but they can also have an insider’s look -- quite literally -- at your workplace, potentially picking up confidential information or practices within your job.

  1. Implanted Health Devices Can Kill You

Defibrillators, pacemakers, and insulin pumps are all potentially-internet connected devices that can save lives and improve a patient’s standard of living. By reporting real-time information on the patient to their doctors, they allow medical professionals to make better assessments on a patient’s conditions and react to issues more immediately. But can they actually kill a patient? Dick Cheney believed they could; his doctors even risked disabling his pacemaker’s ability to remotely transmit information out of fear of it. Anything internet-connected as the ability to be hacked, and these cyber terrorists -- whether they’re an anarchist or someone with a grudge against you -- have the potential to completely shut down your medical device. So when you need that valuable care, it ceases to exists, or even activates at the wrong time -- such as defibrillating when it’s not necessary, stopping hearts rather than starting them.

  1. Baby Monitors a Danger to You and Baby

We’ve all seen enough horror movies to be terrified at the thought of a strange voice coming across the intercom, but the danger is even more real with the IoT. Hackers have the potential to hack into a baby monitor. This allows them to not only speak through it, but glean private information you speak in passing inside your house, or use it as a springboard into the rest of your network, compromising more information.

The IoT isn’t to be feared, but it is something to be wary of. To protect yourself and your home, be sure to regularly check on the security of your internet-connected devices and the storage devices it uses, like enterprise flash storage. Just because it doesn’t have a screen or can be directly interacted with, doesn’t mean it’s not in danger. By checking it yourself or hiring a professional to vet the security of your devices, you can detect security breaches immediately or ensure that no breaches are made at all. This allows you to enjoy technology while still staying safe.

Image credit: Gustavo Frazao / Shutterstock

rick_delgadoRick Delgado has been blessed to have had a successful career and has recently taken a step back to pursue his passion of freelance writing. He loves to write about new technologies and ways of keeping ourselves secure in a changing digital landscape. He writes articles for several companies, including Dell.

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