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Will Your Future Home Get Hacked?

smartfridge There’s a new internet coming into play, and it’s being dubbed the Internet of Things.  More and more home appliances are going from dumb to smart; your door locks, your thermostat, and even your fridge are quickly gaining internet readiness.  Home connectivity is the latest wave of the technological future: if guests arrive early, you can unlock the door for them and even turn up the heat – straight from your smartphone.  If you have to stay out an extra hour or two you can watch what the dogs are up to by tuning in to cameras around the house.  And OCD minded homeowners can quickly double check to ensure that the oven is off and the doors are locked.

Despite these cool and convenient new perks, there’s a dark side: hacking.  Given that Fortune 500 companies spend a total of 80 billion dollars per year on internet security – yet despite these costly precautions they are often hacked.  Could this wave of new technology be leaving your home open to hacking?

Consider the recent story about a web of refrigerators that had been turned into a spam sending botnet.  Turns out this could be a real risk in the future as smart appliances get connected to the internet.  On the creepier end, one person’s babycam was hacked in an attempt to harass the innocent baby.

Some people will raise the question of how much they should care about someone hacking their toaster oven.  Sure, you might not care if someone is monitoring your toast-making schedule.  However, if that toaster is connected to your home network and the connections are not encrypted or secured, someone could possibly access your home PC through your toaster.  Therein lies the danger.  And it turns out, companies making internet-ready appliances are not quite applying stringent security measures quite yet.

Having internet ready home appliances in your home is great – however experts urge consumers to ensure that they are educating themselves along the way, taking into account the added security they will need to employ.

Personally I welcome new technology such as this – it will not only save energy (I can leave the heat  or a/c off until I am planning on coming home) but will also alleviate other problems such as losing your keys or forgetting to leave a spare for the cleaning lady.  However, I do worry that this does leave you open to hackers in various ways, and it’s a bit of an adjustment to know that someone just might be able to unlock your door from, say, Russia.  The question then becomes why – why would someone want to do this?  Sometimes hackers are more on the “see what I can do” side, and are not malicious.  Most are after monetary gain or personal accolades, not harm to individuals.

What do you think?  Do you welcome this new wave of appliances or are you wary?  Leave a comment below:

Bill Gordon

Bill Gordon has been writing on tech and malware subjects for 6 years and has been working in the internet and tech industry for over 15 years. He currently lives in Southern California.

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