New Wi-Fi device this holiday? Protect yourself from hackers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Did you get a new phone, drone, doorbell camera, or smart home device, or toy this holiday?

If so, you may be opening up your identity or even the inside of your home to hackers.

Take a look around your home and see how many connected devices you have. We're talking doorbell and security cameras, smart home appliances such as TVs, refrigerators, exercise equipment, even smart toys with microphones and cameras.

All of these gadgets collect data on you.

"A market exists for all this data and technology, information about you, your network, the devices that are on your network all that's valuable and is bought and sold on the dark web," Chris Rouland, the CEO, of Phosphorus Cybersecurity, said.

Rouland added that for any device that connects to your Wi-Fi, you're opening yourself up to hackers.

"In the world of computer hacking these days, it's really a business and your infant's webcam isn't particularly a business, but it can be bought and sold, and there are people who do like to rent with webcams and view them," he said.

You can take steps to protect yourself.

"It's important to know what's attached to your network, and these days, the concept of a guest network is very common and most Wi-Fi hotspots, and so maybe you take the toys and gadgets you don't really care that much about, but you need internet access to operate put them on your guest network and that way they can't hack into your computer network that way," Rouland said.

Another tip is to never use the default password that comes with your router, smart home device, or gadget. Always change it to a secure, unique password. Experts say it's easier and easier to hack products now, and it's a big business, so you need to protect yourself.
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