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Smart home security - How not to be dumb with your 'IoT' devices

Smart home security - How not to be dumb with your 'IoT' devices
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

The "Internet of Things" is coming and this wave of smart gadgets might be arriving in your home faster than you think. In fact, we've pinpointed five IoT gadgets you could have in your home by the end of 2016 and five types of gadgets you can buy now to turn your home into a smart home.

Unfortunately, smart gadgets bring a security risk with them. Many smart gadgets ship with little to no encryption on communication, which lets hackers take them over or spy on them. Others might ship with security flaws that let a hacker bypass the built-in security.

In mid-2015, for example, a security company called Tripwire found flaws in three smart-gadget hubs from SmartThings, Wink and Vera Control. The flaw let hackers spy on the information the hubs were sending and receiving, or take control. The companies fixed the problems very quickly, but this is a common theme in smart gadgets so far.

This has also happened to Nest, Samsung, multiple baby monitors and IP cameras, and plenty of other gadgets. In fact, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence is on record saying the government is planning to use the explosion of IoT gadgets to spy on people.

So, should you just decide to stick with dumb gadgets forever? That might not always be possible, so let's look at four ways you can protect yourself now and in the future.

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