Surprising Things that need security updates or patches

You might have computer or cell phone operating system updates set to download and install automatically, but if there’s a major hack or breach, do may not want to wait for the update to come to you. Unfortunately, your computer and cell phone aren’t the only thing that requires regular updates and patches. Here are a few things you should check on a regular basis.

Your Router
First, your internet connection is a hacker’s gateway into your home, so it’s no surprise they’ve attacked routers… Routers are the device that distribute your internet connection to all your household devices. In 2018, there was an urgent plea by the FBI for people to restart their routers after a widespread Russian hack had been detected. So visit your router’s administration page on a regular basis and check to make sure you have the latest firmware installed.

Home Security System
While your router’s firewall can help protect you digitally, your home security system protects you physically. May home security systems are connected to the internet so users can check on their homes or be notified if something happens… That also makes it an attractive target for attackers. There have been numerous reports of hackers breaking into home security cameras. Most of these are caused by weak or reused passwords, but checking to make sure you have the latest firmware installed can help make sure your home security system has the latest protections.

Smart Home Devices
As homes get smarter, so do attackers, so it’s important to make sure your smart home hubs have the latest software updates… Whether you’re using a Google Home hub, Samsung Smart things, or any number of other options, it’s important to secure the device that keeps everything else connected. Hackers are willing to create chaos wherever they can, so even things like smart thermostats, smart appliances and even smart lights have been the target of attacks and checked regularly for updates.

Entertainment Systems
A decade ago, Sony admitted that over 77 million Playstation accounts were stolen in a breach of their system. With the number of gaming consoles and devices growing exponentially… and the amount of money being spent on games and subscriptions, it’s no surprise it’s a prime target for hackers. Newer game systems also include cameras hackers can use to spy on you… similarly, many new smart TVs have this capability as well. Don’t forget to regularly download updates for video game consoles, smart TVs, and streaming boxes.

Hackers want information, and another way they can get that is by seeing what you print. When you send something to your printer, an electronic image of that file is transferred. With outdated firmware, hackers could access those files to see what you’ve been printing, and they’re particularly interesting in things that have social security numbers or bank information.

Kids Toys
Kids’ toys are becoming more and more sophisticated and many of them now connect to the internet. For example, Mattel released Hello Barbie a few years ago, a wifi-connected doll that listens to and responds to conversations. Like the other things mentioned here, anything that connects to the internet – and especially things that can record you – are susceptible to hackers and should be updated when new vulnerabilities are discovered.

Finally, many people have remarked that cars have really become computers on wheels… and they are right. Many carmakers have added cool, connected features, but it hasn’t been until the last few years that it’s been shown how hackers can control or take over some connected vehicles. Tesla has grown in popularity partially on the premise of regular software upgrades – adding everything from additional capabilities and new safety features to video games and novel actions. More and more vehicles and car accessories require software upgrades and patches in order to prevent attacks.

New vulnerabilities are discovered every day and hackers usually work quickly to try to exploit them. That’s why it’s so important to regularly check for – and install – new updates. Share this information with friends and relatives to help them avoid becoming a victim as well.

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