If you're worried that you don't have any privacy in the 21st century, you're right. Despite the internet's countless benefits to all of us, there is a downside to everyone being connected to each other.
Hackers, spies, un-reputable government employees and creeps have easy access to you. They can remotely watch you on your webcam, talk to your kids on child monitors, and more.
Unbelievably, these days you also have to worry about your home appliances. That's because refrigerators, washers and dryers, stoves, ovens and microwaves are increasingly connected to the internet.
There are cameras everywhere, it seems. You have them on baby monitors and home security systems, for instance.
The problem is that hackers are accessing your internet-connected devices. How do we know?
Talk about an invasion of privacy. Cybersecurity experts recently found at least 500 websites in Russia that are streaming videos from inside other people's homes. Of course, these are unauthorized videos.
Anyone can go to these sites to watch your baby sleeping in his crib, for example. They can tap into your home security system to watch your most intimate moments. These websites are streaming content from thousands of miles away, including people at their most vulnerable moments.
One Simple Way to Stop Spies
By most estimates, there are billions of devices connected to the internet. That includes phones, TVs, home appliances and cameras you use to protect your family.
Unfortunately, many people do not take this one simple step to protect their privacy. When you get a new internet-connected device, whether it's a router, refrigerator, camera or something else, immediately change the username and password.
If you don't, hackers can remotely access your devices if they know the password. Or, with a few simple steps, they can figure out your device-issued password.
Do not skip the prompts to do that when you're first installing these internet-connected devices. If you've already installed smart appliances, call the product's customer service line and ask for steps to change your login and password.