Is Your Home Vulnerable to Hackers?

Posted June 9th, 2010
by Staff (no comments)

Today, home security is more than just installing good locks or a fire detection system and making sure that you’re paid up on your homeowners insurance. No, in the Information Age, your home may be vulnerable in new and interesting ways that it wasn’t just a few years ago.

Not only do you need to invest in physical home security, you also need to be concerned about cyber home security. If hackers can get into your home computer, they can cause all sorts of havoc. From identity theft to destruction of your data, there are many risks involved. Worst of all, your homeowners insurance isn’t going to protect you from financial losses that occur because of a cyber-attack.

Here are some ways your home might be vulnerable to hackers:

  • Phone call hacking. With the rise in popularity of Bluetooth devices, your communications are now vulnerable. Whether it’s the Bluetooth in your phone or your computer, you’re at risk. The best way to avoid Bluetooth hacking is to turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it, and to turn off the “discoverable” mode on your phone.
  • Printer hacking. A cyber criminal could break into your home, steal your printer and potentially retrieve the past several printouts. Today’s printers actually store some of your data in memory, and usually that includes the previous print jobs. Those printouts might have personally identifying information. You can file the stolen printer on your insurance, but good luck with the ensuing identity theft.
  • Display interception. Installing a simple device known as a “Tempest receiver,” a hacker can intercept the transmissions between your computer and monitor. Make sure you regularly check your computer for devices that weren’t there before.
  • Vacation Tweets. Some folks are prone to announcing to the world when they will be gone on vacation. If someone follows you on Twitter or is a Facebook friend, they could feasibly know when you’re going to be gone and rob your house.
  • Wireless hacking. Many people don’t even turn on the basic security features of their wireless router. It takes very little time and effort, and no specialized equipment, for a hacker to get into your unsecured wireless network and get access to your data.

Photo via altemark

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