Oh look, it’s the Internet of Shit

We don’t let children play with matches. So why do we let white goods manufacturers play with WiFi? Please give me one good use case for connecting your fridge, dishwasher, toaster, kettle, coffee machine, light bulb, door lock or thermostat to the internet. I can’t think of anything that doesn’t sound like a bad science fiction story.

Here are lots and lots and lots of bad reasons:

Why does a dishwasher need a web server?

Let’s light up the neighbourhood in colours of our choosing

The digital equivalent of leaving the key under the mat

Why not broadcast our baby?

Hack your fridge, compromise your email account

Look – your thermostat can host ransomware

Hack home appliances, break the internet (who needs a Kardashian?)

My hot tip to you? If your newly purchased microwave, foot spa, doorbell, lightswitch, whatever, is capable of being connected to your WiFi, opt out. If it requires connection to your WiFi in order to work, return it. Oh, and while you’re worrying about that, just remember that any voice-controlled device, like Alexa or a smart TV, is listening all the time. All. The. Time. And – quelle surprise – sometimes security wasn’t top of the manufacturer’s agenda. Remember, if MI5 can do it, so can criminals. Pretty soon, Amber Rudd will have made it easier for them, too.

Look at it this way. If you have to get off your arse to turn the lights down, or the heat up, or check if you need to buy milk, you’ll chalk up some extra steps in your fitness tracker, which will impress the hacker who’s using it to infect your phone.

What a ray of sunshine I am today.

 

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