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Can Smart Home Devices Be Hacked? 7 Hidden Dangers (2023)

Can Smart Home Devices Be Hacked

Many people transition to smart homes for security purposes.

But unfortunately… 

This setup isn’t as safe as you think. 

There are hidden dangers behind the convenience of smart homes. 

So, before investing thousands of dollars in smart devices… 

Continue reading to discover:

  • Whether smart home devices can be hacked. 
  • 7 unexpected dangers of having a smart home. 
  • The red flag of smart home companies you must know.
  • And this is just the beginning… 

Can smart home devices be hacked?

Smart home devices can be hacked. Hackers can gain access to your gadgets if they’re outdated. Or if you don’t secure your accounts with strong passwords. Clicking unsecured URLs also puts your devices at risk of being hacked. Along with using free WiFi spots in public. 

Now, this isn’t really surprising. 

After all, every gadget connected to a network is at risk of being hacked. 

That includes even the popular voice assistant, Alexa

However, when you have a smart home system… 

Getting hacked means much more than just being unable to use your device. 

Or leaking your financial information. 

Because if even 1 of your smart devices gets hacked… 

The hacker will also gain control of your entire smart home automation system.

So, you’ll be prone to these… 

7 dangers

#1: Spying 

Voice assistants exist to make your life convenient. 

But ironically, despite being so helpful…

They also pose the biggest risks if your smart home gets hacked.

Because they allow hackers to spy on you in real-time. Or through your saved recordings. 

See, most people don’t know this… 

But voice assistants, like Alexa, don’t simply do what they’re told. 

They also record your voice when you tell them commands.  

Now, this isn’t too concerning if your AI only records what you tell her. 

But unfortunately, voice assistants aren’t perfect. 

Sometimes, Alexa accidentally responds when you say a word similar to her name…

Recording your private or confidential conversations.

As a result, if hackers gain access to your network…

They’ll be able to spy on everything your voice assistant recorded before. Which might’ve included sensitive information. 

To make matters worse… 

Voice assistants aren’t the only devices that help hackers spy on you. 

Because smart cameras can also get hacked. 

And when they do…

Hackers can look through your smart camera’s lens in real time. 

Which would be similar to having a stranger lurking in your house. Without you even noticing it. 

#2: Identity theft 

Inside a smart home…

Almost all your information is stored in the cloud or online database, including your:

  • Occupation.
  • Date of birth. 
  • Full legal name.
  • Banking details.
  • Copies or pictures of your legal documents. 

And you know what hackers’ favorite crime is with these data? 

Identity theft. 

This is 1 of the crimes you never want to be a victim of.

Because with your personal information readily available… 

Hackers can easily proceed with big transactions involving your bank details. 

And you guess it.

You could lose thousands of dollars overnight if your identity is stolen. 

But unfortunately, this isn’t even the worst outcome possible. 

See, with identity theft, not only will you be a victim… 

You could also face charges of crimes you’re unaware of.

Because hackers can commit fraud and other unlawful acts under your name. 

And if they do, not only will you be in trouble with the law…

You’ll also have a harder time processing financial transactions in the future. 

Because most people’s credit scores take a huge hit after being victims of identity theft. 

Editor’s pick: Should Smart Devices Be on a Separate Network? The Truth

#3: Tracking 

Imagine walking alone at night.

And you notice someone trailing you wherever you go. 

Of course, this would most likely make you uncomfortable or even scared. 

Because we all know the dangers of being stalked. 

Unfortunately, the same situation can happen if your smart home gets hacked. 

But the worst part is:

Your hackers can keep track of your location for months. And you won’t even know. . 

Because they’ll track you through your smart device activity, not your footsteps. 

And when criminals know where you are, 24/7…

It’ll be very easy for them to:

  • Enter your house when you’re not home. 
  • Rob or abduct you when you’re in a secluded place. 

You might also wonder: Are Smart Homes A Good Idea? 13 Pros & Cons (Updated) 

#4: Data manipulation 

The main purpose of your smart surveillance cameras is to:

Alert you when there’s possible danger coming your way.

And, of course, most smart homeowners rely on these devices. 

But unfortunately, smart cameras aren’t always as secure as they should be.

See, the data these devices transmit to the cloud are often unencrypted.

Meaning, they can easily be accessed through the Internet by… 

You, the smart home company, and the uninvited part of the list: hackers. 

And if you’re wondering: 

“What happens if hackers access my cameras?” 

Well, they could replace the existing video feed of your devices with edited footage. 

Or hackers may delete everything your cameras have stored beforehand.

Of course, these acts of data manipulation are extremely dangerous.

Because they’ll be leaving your house unprotected. Which defeats the purpose of setting up smart cameras in the first place. 

#5: Device hijacking 

It’s fun and convenient to control your smart devices remotely.

But this feature also puts your home at risk of being controlled by others. 

See, in 2019…

A couple had a horrifying day when their smart home got hijacked

The hacker cranked their thermostat’s temperature to 90°F (32°C).

And they also heard the hijacker’s voice talking through their Nest camera in the kitchen. Which also played inappropriate music the couple couldn’t stop. 

After the traumatizing event, the wife stated: 

“[The smart device] is supposed to make me feel safe, and I didn’t feel safe.” 

But unfortunately, this story is just 1 of the several news reports about hacked smart homes. 

See, in that same year, a similar incident happened to a family in South King County. 

Their smart home was also hijacked by an unknown man.

And they were verbally abused by the hacker through their Nest camera, as shown in this video:

Now, hijacking alone is already a major privacy and safety concern. 

But unfortunately, from here on, it only gets worse.

Because when your devices are hijacked, you can also be a victim of… 

#6: Phlashing or property damage

Not all hackers like making their presence known.

But this doesn’t mean they’re any better.

Because these criminals often resort to phlashing to get in your head. A cyberattack that takes advantage of the weaknesses of your smart devices’ software. 

And unfortunately, when phlashing is successful…

Your smart devices’ firmware crashes, making them malfunction. 

On top of phlashing… 

Some hackers also try to overload your smart devices to ruin them.

For example, they might set your thermostat to the highest temperature. Until your HVAC system can’t take the heat and stops working. 

Or worse, hackers may turn your smart oven ON. 

Then, crank it up to cause a house fire while you’re not home. 

#7: Intrusions 

I’ve mentioned several dangers of having a smart home already.

But honestly, nothing can be scarier than having your house raided. 

Most of us do our best to prevent intruders from our properties.

And some even transition to smart homes precisely for this purpose. 

After all, they’re known to be safer than traditional houses. 

But unfortunately, the system you want to install for security purposes could be… 

Ironically, the tool criminals will use to raid your house. 

As you know, if hackers gain access to your network…

They can control your smart home remotely. Hence, they’ll be able to:

  • Unlock your smart locks.
  • Disable your emergency alarm. 
  • Turn OFF your surveillance systems. 

And with this much control over your smart home… 

Raiding your place would be child’s play for intruders. 

Another red flag: No assistance from smart home companies 

Let’s say you fell victim to any of the dangers above.

Well, you’d at least expect your smart home company to help, right?

But unfortunately, that won’t happen.

See, most companies will simply disregard the fact that you were hacked. 

And they won’t provide any legal or financial assistance for you. 

For example, when the couple I talked about earlier had their traumatizing experience… 

The brand of their smart devices, Nest, only responded that their company wasn’t breached. 

Hence, they don’t have any responsibility for the crime that occurred. 

Sounds heartless, but this is reality. 

Smart home companies won’t assist you if your devices are hacked. 

Hence, you should be careful with your online footprints if you have smart devices around.