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They say: “9 things in your home that may be spying on you.” 1 No ratings yet.

Don’t Waste Your Money

Mike Flaim, of Milford, Ohio, is a professional woodworker who likes doing things the old fashioned way, using antique tools to hand-carve wooden tables, bookcases and wall displays.

This is just one reason Flaim’s Smart TV and cable box have him concerned his home technology may be spying on him.

“They can go in my bedroom and know what I’m watching in there. And I don’t think that’s appropriate. It’s no one’s business what I am watching in my bedroom. And it’s just getting worse,” he said.

But Marge Schiller enjoys the latest in home technology. She loves her Amazon Echo and uses all of its features, including asking its personal digital assistant Alexa to order things on Amazon, give her the morning weather report and even play music in her home.

“Alexa, play some soft music,” she said, and her home was filled with soothing music within seconds.

But she, like Flaim, wonders how much these devices are hearing and what they may be sharing with their manufacturer, the government or just strangers down the street.

A recent murder investigation had police asking Amazon for recordings made by its Echo device, which conceivably could have recorded the murder taking place.

9 devices that can spy in your home

The British newspaper The Guardian recently published a disturbing report on all the devices in our homes that are connected to the internet and have the capability of sharing our innermost secrets with people all over the world.

These potentially “spying” (or at least sharing) devices include:

1.       Amazon’s Echo (and its Alexa digital assistant)

2.       Google Home (Google’s version of Echo)

3.       Networked video games, like the Xbox Kinect

4.       Smart TV’s

5.       Facebook Live

6.       Laptop Skype cameras (which face you at all times)

7.       Home security cameras

8.       Baby monitors

9.       Internet connected appliances (like Samsung’s new Family Hub refrigerator, that has web-connected cameras inside)

How can you prevent spying?

Apolonio Garcia is the president of a Cincinnati-based information technology company, HealthGuard IT Security.

“Everything from a crock pot, to a thermostat, to your car … all these things have the ability to receive and transmit data, wirelessly, across the internet, which make our lives so much easier,” Garcia said.

But he says that convenience can come with a price.
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The Secret Code That Could Stop Online Credit Card Fraud 1 5/5 (1)

If you’ve ever bought anything online, you were probably prompted to enter that three-digit code on the back of your debit or credit card to complete your purchase. You may not have thought much about it — you just wanted to order those new shoes as quickly as possible — but these codes (called CVV, or card verification value) are supposed to help verify that you physically have the card when conducting a card-not-present transaction as a way to help prevent fraud.

While this is a good step, fraudsters have plenty of ways to get your CVV and use the card, even if it’s in your wallet. (Just take a look at all the problems retailers have faced due to hackings.) But Oberthur Technologies, a French digital payment security company, reportedly believes they have developed a remedy to this problem.

With their technology (dubbed Motion Code), instead of using the printed code on the back of your plastic, a consumer would have a dynamic digital CVV that refreshes on an hourly (or half-hourly) basis. That means that, if a thief were to get ahold of your card numbers somehow, they’d only have a small window of time to use the CVV before the code changed and they’re left without access.

The code is still three digits, is listed on the back of the card and is powered by a thin lithium battery on the inside of the card, which, according to a Network World report, has a “lifespan of about three or more years.” (You can see more about how this card works in the video below.)

A trial of Motion Code was conducted with 1,000 French customers about a year ago and two more French banks are about to issue Motion Code cards, according to the Network World. The report also notes that these cards do cost issuers more than the standard EMV cards most people carry, but the expense might be worth it if the technology does away with “card-not-present fraud and the associated costs with combating the fraud.”
Keeping Your Money Safe

While it may not be possible to prevent theft entirely, it’s still a good idea to take precautions. If you’re shopping online, make sure you’re using secure payment sites (think those that start with https), don’t store your payment information in a browser or on a site, and enable NFC or RFID transactions.

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