Recently, a “distributed denial of service” or DDOST attack on domain name service provider Dyn grabbed headlines after major websites like Twitter, Wix, and others were taken offline.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that the “botnet”—or, in other words, a network of internet-connected devices that have been compromised by hackers—that was used in the attack was made up largely of devices that are part of the “Internet of Things”.
Since many consumers either knowingly or unknowingly own devices that are part of the “Internet of Things”, it’s important to understand the vulnerability of these devices to hacking, and how it can negatively impact home security.
What is the Internet of Things?
Before we go into greater detail, we should discuss what we mean when we talk about the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things refers to the idea that practically any device that can log onto a wi-fi network can be a part of the internet.
There was a time when the Internet was limited to just computers, but now people have televisions, DVRs, video game consoles, coffee makers and, of course, home security cameras that can connect to the Internet. All kinds of things can be a part of this network, which is why it is known as the Internet of Things.
What Internet of Things Devices are Vulnerable to Hacking?
This kind of universal interconnectivity does leave many devices in the Internet of Things vulnerable to hacking. Very often, the default passwords used by these devices are very weak, and are not changed by consumers after they purchase a device and begin using it.
Now, when it comes to hackers gaining access to things like your coffee maker or television, there aren’t any serious ramifications to your personal security or privacy. However, it’s a different story when considering things like IP security cameras.
Hackers who gain access to an IP home security camera could have the ability to view whatever the camera is looking at. This means that if your home security cameras are not properly set up, they could literally be turned against you.
How You Can Protect Yourself
The best way to protect yourself from hacks with your Internet of Things devices is to update them frequently. The update notices you will get for your computer, DVR or smartphone may be annoying, but they are there for a reason. Hackers are constantly trying to find vulnerabilities in computer systems, so software must be updated frequently if they are to keep anybody out. Even something as simple as rebooting your own systems regularly could go a long way towards preventing a devastating hack.
Also, know when to power your devices down. Many modern electronics are all but designed to stay on and connected to the Internet of Things at all times, but there is always a way to shut them down. In other words, don’t keep it plugged in if you’re not currently using it.
Finally, when it comes to IP home security cameras, purchase them through a professional security company like Dynamark Security of Richmond rather than trying to “do it yourself”. We’ll be able to set up the cameras properly in a way that all but eliminates the possibility of hacking. After all, your home security system is supposed to give you peace of mind, not cause you to wonder who might be watching you through your own security cameras!