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Whatever consumer electronics product you can name, there’s probably a “smart” version that you configure via an app or Internet-connected interface once you’ve connected it to your Wi-Fi network. For ease of setup and to keep costs down, many such devices come pre-configured with not just a default username and password, but the same default username and password as all other units. That’s bad enough, but worse, most people never change those defaults, which is just asking hackers and malicious bots to break in and take over. This risk is real—it has happened to security cameras, baby monitors, light bulbs, DVRs, toasters, refrigerators, and even fish tanks. So, if you received any so-called “Internet of Things” devices for the holidays—or have one or more already installed on your home network—immediately change the usernames (if possible) and passwords to something more secure. Store the new usernames and passwords in your password manager for future reference.

(Featured image by iStock.com/EvgeniyShkolenko)