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Ask Angi: Planning for a smart home future | Siouxland Homes

T-Mobile is Warning that a data breach has exposed the names, date of birth, Social Security number and driver’s license/ID information of more than 40 million current, former or prospective customers who applied for credit with the company. Get Secured Now with Norton 360




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Smart home tech can make your life easier, but you also need to think through how to best prep your home for the smart future.




Smart tech advances fast. Every day it seems it gets less expensive and more user-friendly. Before you invest, think about your needs and goals, and consider these tips to make your home a little smarter and your life a little easier.

Most smart tech can be smoothly integrated into an existing home. You don’t have to rewire your whole house for voice-activated light bulbs! However, the more tech you add, the more your infrastructure needs may change. Consider these projects to plan for a smart future.

This might be a job for an electrician and a carpenter. Even as we expand wireless options, technology and recharging requires wired outlets, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Your smart pro or an electrician can give you tips on how to manage the virtual octopus of power cords. You can use specially rigged drawers, alcoves nestled into walls, or even mini-closets as collected hubs for plug-in points that take up less space than just plugging power strips into wherever you can find them.

Don’t skimp on the Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi access links to nearly every room of many homes, and that connectedness will only expand in the next few years. That means your Wi-Fi router and internet service is a critical choke point. If more than a handful of people live in your home, you’ve probably already noticed how the network slows down when everyone’s logged in and streaming data. Because of this, it’s a good…

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Smart homes: What you need to stay private and secure

T-Mobile is Warning that a data breach has exposed the names, date of birth, Social Security number and driver’s license/ID information of more than 40 million current, former or prospective customers who applied for credit with the company. Get Secured Now with Norton 360


Although not all smart home devices come with additional security features such as multi-factor authentication, push notifications and data encryption, many of them do. When picking out your next smart device, check what default security and privacy features, if any, it has. Some things to be on the lookout for include:

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Are your home’s router, TV, phones hack-free?

T-Mobile is Warning that a data breach has exposed the names, date of birth, Social Security number and driver’s license/ID information of more than 40 million current, former or prospective customers who applied for credit with the company. Get Secured Now with Norton 360


Our homes are more connected than ever before. Between Alexa, smart home devices, and Wi-Fi throughout our houses, there’s no escaping the reach of the internet in our domestic lives. On the one hand, this has made daily living more convenient, with voice command or button services. On the other hand, by connecting everything in our home to the internet, we open ourselves up to hackers, thieves and cybercriminals.

When we talk about the threat posed by hackers, it’s important to remember that cybercrime, by definition, requires the use of the internet. The connections we use between all of our devices are the vectors that criminals use to attack us.

Once inside our devices or data, hackers can compromise our finances, steal important information and wreak havoc on our personal lives.

To safeguard our homes from hackers, the best strategy is to hack-proof the most common points of entry: routers, smart TV’s, voice assistants and smartphones.

Let’s go over the best ways to secure these essential home devices, allowing you to create a safer environment for you and your family’s personal data.

Hack-proofing your home router

Your router is your home’s overall gateway to the internet. Any networked devices must pass information through your router, making it the number one target for hackers looking to compromise your entire system.

Routers themselves typically have several features that allow users to defend against intruders, such as encryption, passwords and firewalls. While these are useful, routers can still have vulnerabilities if not regularly maintained. Consider this guide a form of “security housekeeping” that allows you to stay on top of your router’s weak spots with regular checkups and updates.

Stay up to date

As technology products, routers are constantly being updated and improved by their developers. Typically, router manufacturers will release software updates to your device when they spot critical security flaws or glitches that make their products more…

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Former ADT technician admits to hacking into customer’s accounts to watch real-time video feeds in homes

T-Mobile is Warning that a data breach has exposed the names, date of birth, Social Security number and driver’s license/ID information of more than 40 million current, former or prospective customers who applied for credit with the company. Get Secured Now with Norton 360


DALLAS, Texas — A former security technician faces up to five years in prison after admitting to authorities that he repeatedly hacked into home video camera feeds.

Telesforo Aviles, 35, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to charges of computer fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

Aviles worked for ADT security and accessed around 200 customer accounts more than 9,600 times, the FBI said.

“Mr. Aviles admits that contrary to company policy, he routinely added his personal email address to customers’ “ADT Pulse” accounts, giving himself real-time access to the video feeds from their homes,” U.S. Attorney spokesperson Erin Dooley said in a statement. “In some instances, he claimed he needed to add himself temporarily in order to “test” the system; in other instances, he added himself without their knowledge.”

The incidents took place over a period of four and a half years.

ADT officials told the Dallas Morning News that the affected customers were alerted to the intrusions and that the company “deeply regrets” the incidents.

“This defendant, entrusted with safeguarding customers’ homes, instead intruded on their most intimate moments,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah in a statement. “We are glad to hold him accountable for this disgusting betrayal of trust.”

“Mr. Aviles took note of which homes had attractive women, then repeatedly logged into these customers’ accounts in order to view their footage for sexual gratification,” authorities said. “Plea papers indicate he watched numerous videos of naked women and couples engaging in sexual activity inside their homes.”

Authorities said the case is a reminder for people to practice ‘cyber hygiene by reviewing authorized users and routinely changing passwords.

If you believe you’ve become a victim of cybercrime, you can contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at 1-800-225-5324.

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