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Smart devices can leave homeowners vulnerable

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Natasha Goodley controls much of everything in her house through her phone. She says it’s very convenient.

“To be able to track everything including my security cameras,” Goodley said.

Her bedroom lights, thermostat and door locks are all connected to the internet.

“So whether I’m home or here I can turn the lights on, I can monitor my home.”

And she’s not alone. It’s called the internet of things…where anything with an on and off switch can potentially be connected online. A simple stroll through stores like HH Gregg proves the point.

It’s called the internet of things…where anything with an on and off switch can potentially be connected online. A simple stroll through stores like HH Gregg proves the point.

You’ll find internet-capable appliances, like refrigerators that have cameras to show you the inside when you’re not home. You can also go online on the fridge door.

Even washers and dryers connect to cyberspace, and of course, smart TVs connect.

A recent Wikileaks document dump claims they are easily hackable. Mit Patel with MIT Computers said there are some ways to try to protect yourself.

“You can have personal firewalls, maybe corporate levels or enterprise level. It may be the (new) norm for individuals because there’s so much… so many devices can be connected to the internet,” he said.

Patel suggests having the latest security software and protecting all devices that connect to the internet, including that fridge.

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