Remote Control Crime

Do you own, or have any interest in owning technologies allowing you to control your home from a device, or from another location? This includes security systems, lighting, kitchen appliances, televisions, Wi-Fi cameras, video monitors, wireless heart monitors, insulin dispensers, Thermostats, Wearables, fitness devices, smart refrigerators, TVs, music devices, printers and Office equipment.

Your BBB® cautions consumers and businesses to do your research when equipping your home or office with remote access.

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to any object or device which connects to the Internet to automatically send and/or receive data. What have we seen thus far? Criminals are successfully filling up their gas tanks, usually bypassing the payment system all together, or by charging it to a previous user’s credit or debit card. Baby monitors and security cameras are being hacked to ease drop on users and when possible, steal sensitive personal information. Email accounts are being hacked to empty bank accounts and to trick family and friends. Businesses are also infiltrated to obtain their payment systems and employee personal info. Concerns have also been raised about remotely tampering with medical equipment to induce early death. As of this writing, we have not heard of a specific instance of this happening, though the capabilities have been proven to exist. The problem is that this is such a new technology, and there are no formally adopted standards for devices to talk to each other, or do so in an encrypted manner that cannot be infiltrated.

FBI Consumer and Business Protection Recommendations:

Ensure all default passwords are changed to strong passwords. Do not use the default password determined by the device manufacturer. Many default passwords can be easily located on the Internet. Do not use common words or passwords containing important dates or names of children or pets. If the device does not allow the capability to change the access password, ensure the device providing wireless Internet service has a strong password and uses strong encryption.

Isolate IoT devices on their own protected networks and disable UPnP on routers;

Consider whether IoT devices are ideal for their intended purpose;

Purchase IoT devices from manufacturers with a track record of providing secure devices;

When available, update IoT devices with security patches;

Consumers should be aware of devices and appliances installed in their homes and businesses. If a device comes with a default password or an open Wi-Fi connection, consumers should change the password and only allow it operate on a home network with a secured Wi-Fi router.

For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville.

About Michael 224 Articles
Michael is our Business Information Specialist and will be writing at least one article per week for the consumer education blog. He works with accredited businesses to ensure we maintain current contact information and licensing. He is usually first to answer the phone; so odds are good you will be speaking with him when calling our office.

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