3 ways to keep your house from getting attacked by hackers

Nest passwordYouTube/NestThe set-up screen for the smart thermostat Nest.

They have come after your computer, your phone, and your car.

Now hackers are increasingly going to take target at your home, an IBM security expert told Tech Insider.

As more devices in our homes become connected to the internet, we can expect to see cyber criminals turn their attention to attacking common devices that at one point posed no threat.

Think thermometers, refrigerators, security cameras, and TVs.

For example, if a hacker can installs so-called ransomware on your smart thermometer he could potentially take control of the temperature in your house until you pay a demanded amount of money.

Another way a criminal might exploit your smart home devices is by hacking into your security camera to learn your schedule and then rob you when you are at work.

While there’s no sure way to keep all of your smart home devices protected yet, there are a few simple steps you can take to help keep your home and family safe.

Change the default settings

YouTube/Google

The first thing everyone should do is change the default username and password on any device that is going to be connected to the internet, Caleb Barlow, the vice president at IBM Security, told Tech Insider.

Start with your router and make sure any other device connected to the internet has a unique username and password that you do not use for any other account or device.

Make sure software is up to date on all connected devices

Nest

Besides changing the default login settings, you should also make sure that the software is updated on all of your devices, Barlow said.

While some devices will update automatically over Wi-Fi, some require manual updates. You can generally find out how your devices update by visiting the manufacturer's website. You can also see if there have been any recent releases.

Be careful where you place devices that collect sensitive data

YouTube/Nest

With a growing number of internet-connected sensors, cameras, and microphones entering the home, more personal data is at risk that ever before, Barlow said.

For example, earlier this month a couple was lying in bed watching Netflix when a hacker broke into their webcam and began snapping pictures of the couple while they were watching a show.

One of the most important things people can do is be careful where they place devices that could capture highly personal information, like pictures or video.

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