Tips to protect your smart devices from hackers.

We dig deeper into how you can protect your smart devices from hackers and what steps you can take to protect yourself and your family in the digital age.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — From smartphones to doorbell cameras to baby monitors, we’ve got smart devices everywhere that can make you wonder if you’re being hacked and tracked. How easy is it for hackers to gain access to your smart devices like cell phones and doorbells? The FBI says it all depends on the user and the level of security they have on their devices.

“We recommend things like long passphrases, multi-factor authentication on your devices and on your home network and if you use these techniques it’s actually quite difficult for someone to reach you on your devices,” said Deputy Special Agent Jason Van Goor.

Jason Van Goor, assistant special agent for national security for the FBI Little Rock, says he personally uses a lot of smart devices and people shouldn’t hesitate to use them if they’re properly secured. He says that instead of a password, use a passphrase of 18-20 characters and he says that it is very important to enable multi-factor or two-factor authentication.

“Because even if someone gets your password, they still can’t get into your device, your camera into your phone because there’s this second factor, this text message that you’re going to get with a 4 code digits is what’s going to keep someone from getting into your device,” he said.

Also beware of phishing scams that will send you an email or text message with a link to click. Clicking this link could give hackers access to everything on your phone. Van Goor says that when downloading apps, make sure it’s a reliable app by looking at the number of downloads and the number of reviews.

Some smart devices come with default passwords that hackers can search online and log into the devices. There have been cases of hackers breaking into baby monitors like this and watching babies sleeping or seeing if anyone was home.

Dale Robert Thompson is an associate professor of computer science and science engineering at the University of Arkansas. He says some devices had vulnerabilities allowing hackers to log into them and recover the password or reset the password.

“Although smart device vendors are getting a lot better at not having a default password for everything. You notice on the back of some of them that they actually have an individualized password for that device real, or that they have the apps that actually control these things that require you to change the default password,” he said.

He says that not only are the passing phases a good idea, but they are different for each device. And don’t use your name, part of your address, or your phone number. It says to also look for updates you can make to your devices to make them more secure. He thinks security on smart devices will improve to some extent.

“Some people who like to have these gadgets at their fingertips, price is very important to the people making these devices, so there’s always that trade-off between how much security you want to pay and how much people are willing to pay. to pay. to pay for. And some people selling it may be less susceptible or worried about your safety,” he said.

The FBI says if you believe any of your smart devices or computers have been hacked, please call your local FBI office immediately.

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