If you’re going to drone on and on about how you got hacked by a cyber thief, maybe it’s because you played with your new drone—you know, those rad little flying devices that hover via remote control over your street? Yes, they are hackable.
If you don’t have a drone, don’t be surprised if you get one as a gift this season, as Americans are spending tens and tens of millions of dollars on them.
First off, if you spot a drone, before you go, “Wow, cool, there’s a drone! Kids, come look at this!” consider the possibility that it’s spying on you.
Drones can be connected to the Internet and also have a camera—two ways the cyber crook could spy on you. If something is connected through Wi-Fi, it can hacked, and this includes wireless Bluetooth.
So this means that your drone or your kids’ drone could get hacked into. To guard against this, you must continually keep its firmware updated, and use a password-protected Wi-Fi.
So even though the drone is your nine-year-old’s “toy,” it’s a potential gateway for hackers to slither their way into your bank account, medical records and online accounts. And since the drone can be the hacker’s portal, so can your child’s other remote controlled, Wi-Fi connected devices.
Every device, even a remote controlled car that’s connected to Wi-Fi, should at a minimum have the latest software updates or in some cases have security software to protect against viruses and other malware and also phishing scams.
And it’s not just thieves who want to hack into your personal affairs to get your money. A hacker may be a pedophile, seeking ways to find victims.
A hacker could get in even through an application you just downloaded. Before downloading anything, you should read what the app has access to. You may be unknowingly granting permission for the app to access e-mails or turn on cameras.
Anything that’s “smart” – not just the smartphone, smartdrone, Ebook or tablet – can be a portal to a cybercriminal. This means that smartwatches are on this list. So are those fitness trackers you put on your arm. A hacker could get into your phone via that device on your upper arm that’s tracking your heart rate.
So before you do the “cool!” thing, first do the “security!” thing. Be mindful of what you purchase and the measures you take to protect it.