Nothing is safe from a hacker, even a toy, smart TV or fitness tracker

News by Danielle Correa

With fitness trackers, smart TVs and even children's toys among the most vulnerable items, people are unaware that they're at serious risk of hacking.

New research from consumer security speciality, BullGuard, has revealed the full extent to which dishonest individuals can invade people's privacy by way of a few clicks of the mouse. The survey included responses from 2,000 UK smart device owners.

Aside from smartphones, tablets and PCs, respondents own three internet-connected devices on average, including locks, pet trackers and webcams.

A third admitted that they have no idea if their smart tech is safe and secure. Meanwhile, a quarter of respondents said their devices have no security at all.

Half are unsure if the protection they have is stringent enough and 32 percent are oblivious to the possible security risks facing their gadgets, including cyber-criminals hacking into baby monitors, door locks and even refrigerators.

“Many smart connected devices have little or no security protection,” said Paul Lipman, CEO of BullGuard, in a release. “We've already seen how one attack that used thousands of hacked smart devices took down leading internet services in the US including Netflix and Twitter. Hacks on the smart home could have much more damaging consequences.”

More than a fifth of people said they are unsure about buying additional smart devices since they have doubts about their security. Six in 10 said they'd be encouraged to buy more smart devices if manufacturers did more to put consumer's minds at ease in regard to security protection.

Almost half were unaware manufacturers of smart home devices release software updates to improve the security. Furthermore, 35 percent don't know how to apply the updates.

More than a third of respondents admit they don't know how to protect their smart devices from being hacked.

Roughly 80 percent said they are worried cyber-criminals could hack into their smart tech, with 91 percent concerned that hackers could monitor their every move.

Three in five people are worried that hackers could watch or listen to their children through webcams or baby monitors.

Earlier this year, more than 22,000 webcams and baby monitors were found vulnerable to attack as well as more than 493,000 smart devices including coffee machines, fridges, and other IP-connected devices.

“People have good reason to be concerned about hackers breaking into their smart devices and smart home networks. A hacked smart camera for instance could easily lead to stalking and the victim wouldn't know anything about it,” Lipman said.

Crime & Threats

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