Last month, we discussed our new coffee maker which arrived set up; it would not work until I disabled Blue tooth remote operation facility. The camera system which protects our house is connected to my Wi-Fi and I can interrogate the cameras from anywhere in the world using my Ipad. Strict password control is in place to prevent others hacking into my Wi-Fi system through the camera software. However, some cameras are preconfigured to be accessible via an app which hackers can access by using the default password which comes with the system. As time goes on, more and more devices will appear to make life “more convenient” if you want to close your curtains from the car on your way home, turn on the kettle or oven, and so on, but they all increase the hacking risk. The hackers have techniques to turn household gadgets, such as Samsung Smart TVs, into spying devices which can record conversations.
A newspaper reporter employed a firm used by banks to find holes in their online security. Within minutes, the legal hacker had gained access to his WiFi through a British Gas Hive Active Heating system which is remotely controlled by an app on a ‘phone or tablet which enables the customer to remotely adjust their central heating. The hacker obtained the reporter’s address and holiday dates ( the system had been programmed to turn off while he was away) without effort. Baby alarms, which can be interrogated remotely, can be used by hackers to gain access to your WiFi and to see into the child’s bedroom. My recent copy of Which Magazine looked at the new phenomenon of smart doorbells where a video picture of the caller can be seen on the telephone of the owner, wherever he happens to be (courtesy of an App and his Wi-Fi) and the owner can converse with the caller. Which tested12 such doorbells and could only recommend three, one costing £360 and the other two £200 . All the others had shocking security and privacy risks. For example, one video doorbell (£72) sends your home Wi-Fi name and password unencrypted to China. If stolen, this data could allow a hacker to access your private data and any other smart devices you own.
With the ever increasing number of devices hooked up to personal Wi-Fi, the balance between convenience and security seems to be tipping the wrong way and, as I am not particularly “tech savvy” I shall avoid them where possible in future.
That is all a bit “heavy” and Christmas is coming so I think it is time for a few jokes.
A priest and a nun were on a trip to a faraway monastery when their car broke down in the middle of nowhere as a blizzard raged above them. They found a deserted cabin with a sleeping bag, a bed, and a pile of blankets. They took shelter. The priest, being a gentleman, offered the nun the bed and took the sleeping bag for himself. As they tucked in for the night, the nun called out, “father, father, I’m cold!” so the priest got up and put another blanket on the nun. “is that better, sister?” he asked. “yes father, much better,” she replied. So he climbed back into his sleeping bag and started to nod off when she again called out with “father, I’m still cold!” so once again, the priest got up and put another blanket on her, ensuring she was well tucked into the bed. “Is that better, sister?” he asked. “Oh yes, father, that’s much better,” she said. So the priest got himself back into the sleeping bag, and this time was just starting to dream when he woke up to her call of “Father, father, I’m just so cold!” The priest thought long about this and finally said, “Sister, we are in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard. No one but you, myself, and the Lord himself will ever know what happens here this night. How about, just for this night, we act as though we were married?” The nun thought on this for a minute. She could not help but admit to herself she was curious, and finally answered with a tentative “OK, father, just for tonight, we will act as though we are married.” “Wonderful.” the father replied, “Now get up and get your own blanket” before rolling over and falling asleep.
A man bought his wife a massive diamond ring for Christmas. His friend was envious as he could not afford anything so grand for his wife. Then, he remembered and said “I thought she wanted a new 4 X 4 car. “Yes” replied the husband “but where would I find a fake 4 X 4?”
Deannie joins me in wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year . Ian Nisbet