Hackable holiday gifts: Information, tips to keep high-tech gear secure


A drone is a hackable gift

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DENVER -- The Grinch won’t have to physically come into your home to steal your high-tech toys this year. He will practically be able to do it from the comfort of his cold, damp cave.

And if he can, he will, said professor of Computer Science at Metropolitan State University Steve Beaty.

“Essentially any device that can connect to the Internet or has blue tooth capabilities is hackable," he said.

Smartphones, tablets, drones, camera-enabled devices, smartwatches, even fitness trackers. If it goes online, it’s up for grabs.

“If they break into that bracelet or whatever that happens to be they can break into it via a blue tooth and take all the data off your phone," Beaty said.

But wait, there’s more.

“There have been times when people have been blackmailed with photos of themselves or their loved ones that have been captured either from laptops or televisions or baby monitors,” he said.

There are ways to make your high-tech toys safer from the Grinch.

“All these devices come with what we call default passwords so you can log into them the first time. It’s crucial that people change those default passwords,” Beaty said.

If all else fails, take up tennis. No password required.

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