Matt Morton has seen a lot when it comes to smart technology in the home being compromised and used to hurt the homeowner.
“I’ve seen – multiple times – people accessing home (security) cameras from all over the world,” he tells Nebraska Radio Network.
“The risk that you have from that is that say someone can access your thermostat,” Morton says. “It’s not that they can actually do any damage accept maybe monkey with your thermostat, but they can also use that as a jumping off point to other places, which is where the real risk is.”
He says you need to ask companies exactly what their security measures are before they install any device, and if you do it yourself, you need to make sure the technology is protected by a firewall.
As chief information security officer for the University of Nebraska, it is Morton’s job to keep the campus system safe from cyber-attacks.
“Cyber criminals are constantly bombarding people with fake emails to get them to click, maybe to compromise credentials, maybe even to gather intelligence,” he warns.
Phishing attempts are still the number one concern online. Those cost consumers several billion dollars last year, according to the FBI.
“At home or even where you work, just taking a second to think before you click on links inside of emails, that’s usually the best way to stop that,” Morton advises.
He suggests picking up the phone and calling to verify an email link or attachment is valid.
Staying on top of your anti-virus protection is key, but encrypting information is also a good idea.
“If your work doesn’t require an encrypted drive in your laptop,” Morton says, “the fact that you’d want to protect your own stuff would make you want to encrypt it. Microsoft and Apple make it easy to do that now.”
Morton says if you do encrypt your data, make sure you write down your password for that and keep it in a safe place.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:40]