Technology is everywhere these days, especially in our homes. Smart TVs, vacuum cleaners, light bulbs, baby monitors, thermometers, the list just goes on. These devices help us in our daily lives and make life more convenient, but the more closely linked our lives are to these devices, the more risk there is if a vulnerability occurs. Thus it may be a good idea to take a step back and consider if you have too much reliance on technology.
Robot vacuum cleaners are increasingly prevalent, especially in smart homes. Higher-end models are constantly connected to the manufacturer’s servers and other online services, and this can provide substantial risk to your privacy. This is because high-end robot vacuum cleaners use cameras to create a map of your home to make it easier to navigate, according to The Star. However, this information may be susceptible to hackers and other cybercriminals. Through the vacuum cleaner’s cameras and sensors, it can sense your presence at home and send this information to be exploited by others.
Another such device is baby monitors. Many use these cameras to remotely keep track of their young children. Recently, some users of Nest baby monitors and thermostat reported incidents of their devices being hacked, according to the Chicago Tribune. In one case, the parents heard a deep male voice talking to their child through the monitor in the child’s room. The couple grabbed their son and headed downstairs. However, the voice followed them and spoke to them rudely using vulgar language through another speaker in the camera downstairs. Another similar incident also happened in Houston, Texas where the family heard a voice saying sexual expletives, and threatening to kidnap their baby.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
These incidents solidify the need for proper awareness among the public about cybersecurity and online safety. The chairman of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Al-Ishsal Ishak, said that they are committed to engaging in advocacy campaigns to combat the increase of cybercriminal activity.
He said that MCMC had done several interviews with media outlets to highlight cybercriminal activity such as online scams, according to Bernama. Al-Ishsal added that these initiatives reflected MCMC’s efforts to elevate Malaysia’s communications and multimedia industry to a higher level.
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