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Safe Surfing : Smart devices: be careful while on holiday!

Smart thermostats, smart TVs, washing machines, dishwashers or refrigerators connected to the internet, alarm systems and surveillance cameras ... The number of objects connected to the internet has increased dramatically in recent years, affecting the safety of citizens, especially during summer holidays.

While they offer certain undeniable benefits and make life easier for their users, everyday Internet-connected objects can also pose a danger. In a study conducted on 16 of these devices, KU Leuven discovered no less than 54 security flaws! A lack of vigilance can thus be exploited by hackers to gain access to a wealth of interesting information. In this respect, the summer holidays are a critical period. 

"For example, if you use a dishwasher whose activity you manage via the Home Connect app, burglars may discover that you are not at home after hacking your system. And if you have a robot hoover, those same burglars could easily access the floor plan of your house," warns Olivier Bogaert of the Federal Computer Crime Unit. 

The FPS Home Affairs gives us a series of tips to help us protect our home from hackers so we can leave on holiday with peace of mind. The first is to always inform yourself properly before buying any household appliance connected to the internet, for instance by seeking advice from a technical expert. Another tip is to be wary of 'white' products offered at a more attractive price than branded products, as they have much less effective safety parameters. So make sure you have read through enough reviews if you are considering buying such a device or choose shops with reliable customer service. Also, take time to read the user manual. This will tell you what security measures to take, such as changing passwords regularly and performing necessary updates. Also regularly check the website of the brand of your device to see if a new version is available. Finally, another very important factor is the security of your Wi-Fi connection. In case of a security breach, someone approaching your home can take control of it. 

So be sure to apply these valuable tips when you leave home to enjoy a well-deserved holiday. Have a great trip!


Source : Federale Politie