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Internet of Things

As if we all didn’t have enough to worry about, now we have the Internet of things about which to be concerned. More and more of the things we use are becoming connected to the Internet, including but certainly not limited to cars, refrigerators, coffee makers, and thermostats. It is tremendously convenient, for example, for us to use our smartphones to program our thermostats from afar so that our homes will have the proper temperature when we return from a day at work. But every technological advance, regardless of how constructive it might seem, has the potential to be exploited by scammers, hackers, and identity thieves. The Internet security company Proofpoint found that a botnet of more than 100,000 was made up of not only hacked computers but also (25 percent) Internet-connected devices including televisions and refrigerators. A botnet is a network of hacked electronic devices used by scammers and identity thieves to spread malware while avoiding detection.

The differences between computers and television sets have blurred in recent years, with many people buying Internet-connected high-definition televisions. Too often, people fail to recognize the security threats present in these new devices, much to their detriment. Hackers can breach your Internet-connected television and fool you into trusting phony bank or shopping websites, thereby making you a victim of identity theft. Fortunately, companies have developed security programs for Internet-connected television sets. Before you even consider buying an Internet-connected television set, you should make sure that you have it properly equipped with security software.

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