Put It in the Cloud, They Said. It’ll Be Fun, They Said.

Not only do you not own devices that are dependent on online services but those devices are also more vulnerable to unauthorized remote access. If your Internet connected devices aren’t secure, they can be accessed by unauthorized third parties, which can make for an awkward time when said device is capable of playing audio:

That suave chat is a translation of what webcam owner and shocked F-bomb flinger Rilana Hamer, of the Netherlands, related in a 1 October Facebook post.

Hamer says that a month or two ago, she picked up a Wi-Fi enabled camera to keep an eye on the house. Most particularly, to keep an eye on her puppy, who has a penchant for turning everything upside down. She bought the device at Action—a local discount-chain store that mostly sells low-budget convenience utilities.

Hamer’s experience isn’t unusual. In fact, there’s a website dedicated to providing remote feeds to insecure video cameras. Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturers have a pretty dismal record when it comes to security and few have shown any notable effort to improve that record. While the ramifications of this lack of security awareness aren’t immediately obvious for many IoT devices, they are obvious when it comes to devices that allow unauthorized third-parties to interact with you.