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12 Internet of Things hacks, and why you need to lock down your smart home in 2019

The most high-profile Internet of Things hacks and vulnerabilities - and how to protect your own smart home devices

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Computers and smartphones aren't the only gadgets in our lives in danger of getting hacked. Smart home security cameras, children's toys and even our routers, the device that takes us on the internet, are all vulnerable. However, that doesn't seem to be deterring people from buying connected devices.

We like these smart speakers, robot vacuums and video doorbells so much, that the smart home market is expected to hit $53.6 billion by 2022 (up from $24.1 billion in 2016), according to insurance company Assurant.

As we bring more connected products into our home in the coming new year, it's helpful to take steps to protect smart home devices from online attackers, the best that we can. Here are some famous hacks — and what consumers can do to try and thwart these attacks.

Amazon Echo

Amazon

We all know about the Amazon Echo that recorded a couple at home in Oregon, and sent the conversation to a friend. That's not ideal. But security hackers actually found a way to turn the Echo into a spyware device, listening without people knowing. Amazon fixed this security flaw quickly, and the hack required that a modified Echo gain access to the same network used by other Echos in a home. Someone could gift a modified Echo maliciously to someone, and have the install it in their house.

Hacks like these are much more difficult as they require some physical proximity and access to other devices. Still, password protection is a good move here, and not just at the device level but at the router level. Consumers can also consider creating guest access Wi-Fi passwords for visitors who visit their homes, which can be routinely changed then when people leave.



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