Protecting Your Family: The Internet of Things Gives Hackers Creepy New Options

Protecting Your Family: The Internet of Things Gives Hackers Creepy New Options

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Whether you know it or not, your home is likely teeming with devices that make up the "internet of things". And just about every single one of those devices is a target for hackers.

Dave Hall, a systems engineer with Hall Associates in Huntsville joined Margo to talk about the strange new web on Tuesday morning.

Basically, the "internet of things" is made up of secondary and tertiary devices that connect to your home's wifi. Not just computers, tablets or phones.. the "IOT" is made up of things like security cameras, home assistants like Alexa, personal health monitors, smart appliances in your kitchen even a Barbie doll promising to be your child's new best friend.

"The problem you run in to is when you connect to the internet, however, you do it - anybody in the world can touch it," Hall said. Hall told us about sites on the dark web that are essentially databases of unprotected devices like these. Imagine someone thousands of miles away watching your children on your nanny cam, or someone else from the next town over sending your child scary messages through their doll.

So what can you do to protect yourself? "It's very difficult. Every system is different." Hall says. "It depends on how much you treasure your privacy, and also how much you buy and put in your home," Hall says firewalls are a good place to start. "There's a recommendation that you check your router information for updates every three months." Do people actually do it? "Of course not."

Among its top tips: Research, research, research! Secure your IOT devices after purchase. Turn off IOT devices when not in use. Protect your WiFi password and, as Dave Hall told Margo - Keep your firmware up to date!

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