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Can Smart Devices Hack My Personal Info?

* The internet of things (IoT) refers to everyday items with online connectivity
* Nearly 20 million IoT devices are expected to hit the marketplace by 2020
* Most contain sensitive information yet have very weak privacy settings

From our TVs to thermostats, light bulbs and refrigerators, more and more items are coming pre-equipped with internet connectivity. In fact, experts predict nearly 20 million IoT devices will hit the marketplace by 2020.

With all the news surrounding our devices and how they’re more susceptible to cyber attacks, it makes sense people are becoming increasingly concerned. That’s because most of these devices are painfully easy to hack.

Take your smart TV for example. While you may not realize it, your TV could be listening to your conversations and secretly recording the shows you watch (consider Vizio’s recent court case as a perfect example). While this alone is enough to raise the hair on the back of your neck, things become much more convoluted when you realize how unsecured most smart devices are.

Just a few months ago, hackers were able to take over a person’s entire online network simply by logging into their smart TVIt’s really quite simple: the more devices you connect to your online network, the more vulnerable that network becomes. 

In an effort to keep your smart devices safe, remember to always update your firmware whenever prompted. Also, make sure your devices are actually connected to your home’s router and are not accessing the internet independently. That way they’ll all have the same protocols and privacy settings.

Many devices come with the privacy controls uninstalled, so make sure you take the time to learn how these devices work, and how to protect them. A little caution goes a long way.