RB’s Computer Service has embraced technology and innovation over the years, and we have built a business helping consumers and businesses integrate them into their lives and business operations. Consumers and businesses today enjoy the convenience and connectivity that smart devices bring to their homes and offices, from automated door locks and smart light bulbs to video monitors. However, this interconnectedness also poses significant cybersecurity risks. Consumers and businesses should be aware of the security risks and the steps they can take to ensure their personal and business networks are secure and personal data is protected. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the cybersecurity risks associated with automated door locks, smart light bulbs, and video monitors while suggesting ways you can protect against a cybersecurity breach. If you are using automated door locks, smart light bulbs, and video monitors at home or the office and need help ensuring they are secure, don’t hesitate to contact RB’s Computer Service for a hassle-free consultation.
Automatic Door Locks
Smart automatic door locks, for instance, can be vulnerable to hacking attempts if not properly secured. Weak or default passwords, outdated firmware, and poor encryption practices can make it easier for cybercriminals to gain control of these devices. Firmware is a form of microcode or program embedded into hardware smart devices to help them operate effectively. Once compromised, intruders could unlock doors remotely, putting the physical security of your home or office at risk.
Most smart devices are managed using an app on a smartphone requiring a “username” and “password” to access it. For a username, many people use a “dummy email” like a Gmail account that is only used for this kind of stuff. This is why a STRONG password is critical. Equally important is to do some research about the smart locks you plan to buy to make sure they are manufactured by a trusted source that uses high levels of encryption.
Some video doorbells have minimal built-in protection, and hackers can easily take over their cameras, microphones, and motion detectors. They could spy on residents through the camera and microphone to see when they’re not home or verbally harass them. For example, in 2022, two men accessed dozens of smart doorbells to livestream swatting attacks, where attackers fraudulently call emergency responders to an unsuspecting victim’s home. They only needed an email address and password to get into the cameras. The information was relatively easy to find because many of the video doorbell users managed it with an app with breached credentials across multiple sites.
Smart Light Bulbs
Smart light bulbs might seem innocuous, but they can also be exploited. Smart light bulb devices have simple chips that can still be used by hackers to target your network. If a smart bulb is infrared-enabled, hackers can use an infrared wavelength to directly access a home’s digital network and their data.
Smart Video Monitors
Smart video monitors, another popular addition to modern homes and offices, can be susceptible to privacy breaches. If not properly configured, these devices may be accessed by unauthorized individuals who can spy on homeowners and employees. In some cases, manufacturers have been known to store footage on insecure servers, making it possible for hackers to obtain and misuse recorded content.
Wi-fi networks and internet-enabled cameras that are used at home or the office can also be targeted by hackers. They can take over the camera and, depending on the features of the monitor, even speak through it. For example, this year the New York Post reported a story about a mother who discovered in horror her wi-fi enabled baby monitor had been hacked. Over a couple of months, her son unplugged the baby monitor during the night, and she would plug it back in the next morning. One night she asked her husband to plug in the baby monitor and their son started crying. Asked why he was crying, the woman’s son said, “Someone talks to me at night, and it scares me.” She claimed the only reason they weren’t aware of the hack was because their son thought it was them talking to him through the monitor. When the couple went to change the password online, they received a notification that their login credentials had appeared in a data leak, potentially compromising their account.
Smart Home Devices Are Vulnerable But Defensible
Interconnected smart devices create a broader attack surface for cyber threats. A compromised device can be used as a gateway to infiltrate the entire home or office network. However, smart devices can be defended against cyber-attacks and breaches. Consumers and businesses should regularly update the firmware on all their smart devices, as updates often include security patches that address known vulnerabilities. Additionally, using strong, unique passwords for each device and enabling multi-factor authentication whenever possible can significantly enhance security. Commercial-grade Wi-Fi routers and VPNs (encrypted virtual private networks) are equally important to consider for security. At RB’s Computer Service, we recognize most smart device users can grasp the importance of using strong, unique passwords and enabling multi-factor authentication. On the other hand, integrating commercial-grade routers and VPNs could seem complicated to many. If you need help determining and integrating a cybersecurity plan for your smart devices, don’t hesitate to contact RB’s Computer Service for a hassle-free consultation.
Smart devices like automated door locks, smart light bulbs, and video monitors often collect and transmit sensitive information, such as daily routines, preferences, and even audio or video recordings. Consumers and businesses should carefully review privacy settings for each device, disabling unnecessary data collection features. Furthermore, it is crucial to research the privacy practices of device manufacturers and choose products from reputable companies that prioritize user security. If you need help determining and integrating a cybersecurity plan for your smart devices, don’t hesitate to contact RB’s Computer Service for a hassle-free consultation via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 763-441-3884. In addition to cybersecurity for smart devices, RB’s Computer Service offers very affordable Managed IT Service Agreements to ensure your computers and computer networks work securely, and smoothly and do what you need them to do. We sell the best commercial-grade firewall routers, best laptop computers, best desktop computers, business computers, computer parts, and computer monitors. For iPhone, smartphone repair, and tablet repairs, do not hesitate to contact us.
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