Smart appliances may be too smart for our own good!
Take smart TVs, for instance. As this article illustrates, some of these new appliances are particularly vulnerable to hackers. Once compromised, the TVs allow access to account information, including login credentials (which owners may use for access to more than just their smart-TV account). Even scarier, hackers could gain access to front-facing cameras to see everything happening in the room where the TV is connected. Instead of you watching your favorite program, criminals may be watching you!
As many people get new smartphones for holiday gifts, they will be tempted to sell their old devices. If you're one of them, keep this story, reported by a Virginia ABC affiliate, in mind.
McAfee online security expert Robert Siciliano did a little experiment; he purchased 30 different devices from craigslist, including laptops, notebooks, iPads and smartphones. "I asked every single person if they re-installed the operating system or reformatted the drive, and they all said yes," Siciliano said. "On more than half of the devices, I found enough information to steal identities or, in some cases, even get people into trouble."
The takeaway? Be mindful that erasing your personal data from your devices requires more than a delete button.
Here's a good resource for learning how to sufficiently wipe your smartphones, tablets, computers and more before handing them off to a stranger.