How to protect your home, and family, from hackers

Any devices like Amazon Echo or Google Nest, whether inside or outside of the home, can be hacked into. Here’s how to protect yours.

PORTLAND, Maine — More people are tapping into technologies that make them feel safer, including doorbell cameras such as Ring or Google and Amazon devices that respond to you and keep an eye on your kids or dogs while you’re away.

“It’s really all devices that are considered ‘Internet of Things,’ and what that means is it’s not generally a computer or a laptop. [It’s] your Google voice devices, Alexa, security cameras,” Paul Tracey, a cyber security educator and the founder and CEO of Innovative Technologies, said. 

“What we’ve seen is, FedEx gets dropped off, hackers have gotten into a camera and they know that package is there, and they’re able to determine you don’t come home every day until 5 p.m.,” Tracey said. “It’s allowing someone else to see your patterns and things that you don’t necessarily want someone else to know.”

In extreme cases, hackers have been able to talk to people inside their homes through their cameras. 

In Tennessee, a hacker broke into a Ring camera set up in an 8-year-old child’s bedroom and told the girl he was Santa Claus. The little girl can be seen on camera screaming for her mother. 

So what can you do to protect your devices and your family? 

Tracey said start by changing passwords. Don’t keep the admin password that came on the bottom of your internet router or your device, because that’s the first thing a hacker will try. 

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Second, use different passwords for different devices. 

Third, pay attention to any software updates.

“Just like you would check the…