THE smart gadgets in your home could be putting you at risk of cyber-snooping.
Cyber-experts are urging shoppers to consider the risks of having more "connected" devices in the home.
Most big-brand smart gadgets are safe to use – but buyers should beware the potential privacy risks.
Gadgets like smart TVs, cameras, doorbells and more can offer huge benefits, but you should make sure to use them as safely as possible.
The Sun spoke to Javvad Malik, lead security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, who said that cyber-criminals are always looking for new ways to target victims.
"When it comes to household smart gadgets, there are several devices that might not immediately raise concerns about security risks," Javvad told The Sun.
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"However, it's essential to recognise that even seemingly innocuous devices can pose vulnerabilities that cyber criminals could exploit. Here are a few examples:
He revealed four common household gadgets that could be targeted by crooks.
#1 Smart TVs
"While smart TVs offer convenient features like streaming content and voice control, they can also serve as entry points for attackers," Javvad warned.
"Vulnerabilities in their firmware or software can be exploited to gain unauthorised access to your network, potentially compromising personal information or enabling surveillance."
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#2 Smart Home Assistants
"Devices such as Amazon Echo or Google Home are designed to make our lives easier," Javvad said.
"But they raise concerns in terms of privacy and data security.
"These assistants continuously listen for voice commands, potentially capturing sensitive conversations and raising questions about how the data is handled and stored."
#3 Smart Cameras
"Home security cameras have become increasingly popular," Javvad told us.
"But they can inadvertently invite unwanted surveillance if not properly secured.
"Weak passwords or outdated firmware can allow hackers to access the camera's feed or exploit it to gain access to the wider network."
#4 Smart Appliances
"Devices like smart refrigerators or ovens that connect to the internet for added functionality can introduce security risks," Javvad revealed.
"If not adequately protected, they could become potential entry points for attackers, compromising your network and potentially stealing personal data."
How to stay safe
There are plenty of ways to boost your privacy and security when it comes to home gadgets.
Javvad recommended changing default passwords on devices when you install them.
It's also important to keep devices (and their apps) updated.
That way, any known security flaws can be fixed by the gadget makers.
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And importantly, be wary of what info you hand over to these devices.
"It's essential to be mindful of the information you share with these devices," Javvad said.
"And review their privacy policies to make informed decisions about their usage in your household."
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