Over five million Australian homes have a smart device connected to the internet.
These days, you can buy everything from smart speakers to vacuums, baby monitors, and garage doors – and by the end of this year, a quarter of all Australians are expected to use a smart speaker.
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The average household has 17 devices which connect to the internet, and over the next few years, that figure is expected to rise to 37 devices per home.
Some devices are riskier than others – smart cameras and baby monitors are products consumers should approach with caution. If a hacker gets access, they can be monitoring your house to see when you are home.
“We’ve had some horror stories around smart cameras and motion detectors,” said reformed hacker Bastien Treptel.
“In a particular school, we saw one of these devices had a video camera on it, and unfortunately, all of these IP addresses connected to this camera which had open access to view into a girls’ locker room in one of our schools.”
Tips to protect your home
Consumers should be taking advantage of the security features some devices come with, says Treptel – and there are three main safety tips:
Are devices listening to us?
Here’s a situation you might be familiar with – you’re having a conversation with someone, and soon enough your online feed is full of targeted ads relating to that discussion you just had with a friend or family member.
“They’re always listening,” Treptel said.
“We’ve had a couple of breaches with Amazon Alexa and Google Home where data has been leaked of people’s private conversations – so really be smart about where you put these things – and ask yourself if you need the device where it is.
“We’ve all experienced this – and companies would be a bit stupid to not use this data to advertise to.”
A hacker’s hardware
It’s not just your own smart devices that you have to worry about – hackers have access to items such as the Wifi Pineapple and O.MG Cable that can compromise your security.
“People will plug the O.MG Cable into their devices, and then hackers will have a remote shell into their phone or computer,” Treptel said.
“The scary thing is, we bought about 200 of these cables online – and three or four of them were being sold as legitimate cables.”
Reformed cyber hacker Bastien Treptel shares his tips for protecting your personal information.
The Wifi Pineapple can trick your phone into thinking it is an open network you may have previously connected to – such as free wifi at a shopping centre or airport.
“This creates a fake version of the open network, and then anything you do on your phone is ours. And we’re nice enough to give you the free internet as we take your data.”
“Remember, hackers are trying to figure out a way to get their money out from an organisation they’ve hacked – and a lot of the time, they need an identity,” Treptel said.
“The phone has everything you need to create an identity – addresses, contact details, phone numbers – and using that information, we can use that to build an identity.”
This content was originally published here.