We all know that robbers break into houses through doors and windows to pilfer money and other belongings. And we all know that cyber thieves steal personal information and even identities by infiltrating computers. But did you know that a hacker might be able to get at you through your refrigerator? And no, I’m not talking about the little guy who turns the light on and off inside your fridge when you open and close it.
Increasingly, modern appliances such as stainless steel refrigerators and big screen TVs are connected to the Internet. That means there are new paths for hackers to use to enter your home and steal your identity, take your bank and credit card information, and rob you blind.
In one cyber attack that took place in late 2013 and early 2014, hackers broke into 100,000 consumer gadgets including a refrigerator, televisions, wireless speakers and media centers. They used those appliances to release some 750,000 malicious emails.
The single biggest problem here is that the technology that has allowed various electronic devices to communicate with each other inside your house has grown faster than the security measures that are needed to protect them – and you. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be somewhere between 26 and 30 billion devices connected to the Internet.
In addition to refrigerators and TVs, other appliances that could make you vulnerable are your cable box, thermostat, dishwasher, clothes dryer, smart water meter, clock radio, garage door opener and many more.
Almost makes you want to buy old, used appliances, doesn’t it?