COMMON household gadgets could lead to devastating cyberattacks – and potentially even home break-ins.
Security experts told The U.S. Sun that three popular gadgets are risky, but almost any smart home device could end up being a target.
Smart home devices are increasingly popular, offering bonus features thanks to the ability to connect to the internet and iPhone or Android mobile apps.
But the trade-off for these objects connecting to the internet is a potential security risk.
"Many off-brand smart gadgets that connect through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi could be vulnerable to an attack," Paul Bischoff, Consumer Privacy Advocate at Comparitech, told The U.S. Sun.
"Baby monitors, e-photo frames, kitchen appliances, and other smart devices often come with hardcoded credentials that hackers can easily find and exploit.
"These devices might not automatically update whenever a security vulnerability is discovered, leaving them wide open for attackers.
"Unlike your web browser, there's no green padlock icon to let you know if the device is communicating securely."
Of course, many smart home devices could be the entry point for a dangerous cyberattack – not just the three listed above.
You should be very careful when using "smart" gadgets at home, cyber-experts said.
Sadly, a rogue or hacked smart home device is seriously dangerous.
You could find yourself with big bills, empty bank accounts, and even at risk of physical home break-ins.
"Devices collect and transmit personal data, such as user habits, preferences, and even sensitive information," said cyber-expert Chris White, speaking to The U.S. Sun.
"If these devices are compromised, it can lead to privacy breaches and unauthorised access to personal data.
"Weak or default passwords, inadequate security measures, and vulnerabilities in devices can allow unauthorised individuals to gain access to the devices or the entire home network.
"This can potentially lead to unauthorised control, manipulation, or surveillance of devices."
But that's not all: Chris warned that some users can be physically targeted after cyber-attacks.
This is a serious risk that smart home gadget users need to be very careful to avoid.
"Devices that control critical systems within a home, such as security cameras, door locks, or thermostats, can pose physical safety risks if they are tampered with or accessed by unauthorised individuals," said Chris, who is a member of International Cyber Expo’s Advisory Council and Head of Cyber & Innovation at The South East Cyber Resilience Centre:
"For example, an attacker gaining control of a home security system could disable it, leaving the home vulnerable to break-ins."
Even if a security gadget isn't directly attacked initially, it could eventually be taken over if a crook can break in to your network.
Once a hacker takes control of one device, they could use your personal info or other "exploits" to hijack other parts of your home network.
Chris advised users to change default details when you buy new devices, use strong passwords, keep devices up to date, and use two-step verification for logins where possible.