Buyer beware: Hackable holiday gifts - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Buyer beware: Hackable holiday gifts


Topping Christmas lists this year are likely the latest and greatest tech gadgets.

Turns out, though, they're likely topping cyber criminals lists as well.

According to Intel Security, the most hackable holiday gifts for 2015 include:

  • smart watches and fitness trackers,
  • tablets,
  • drones and camera-enabled devices,
  • and kids gadgets like remote control cars or dolls that interact with the online world.

"There's a chance anything connected to the internet could get hacked," Velosity Electronics co-owner Ryan Frenz said.

Frenz says some of these electronics have already been hacked.

"There's some tablets recently that the online service got hacked and people were able to obtain chat history between their kids and their parents," Frenz said. "They could see photos of kids. I mean that's some creepy stuff."

There are some easy steps to take that can typically keep you safe.

  • Know how your product works. Before you pull it out of the package, do your research about any known problems. If a hacker can install malicious software on it to get your personal information, you're going to want to know that before you turn it on.
  • Change the default password. All of the gadgets have their own password that are typically published for the public to access. You need to change it to something someone can't guess.
  • Install security updates as soon as they're offered.Companies put those out to keep your product secure, not as an inconvenience.

"Just take a few extra minutes and be careful," Frenz said.

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