Hackers were never so powerful as they were in the 1990s movies. By furiously typing on their keyboards, they could decode any encryption, steal any amount of money from any person or organization, reveal any classified government secret… even travel back in time.
In the early days of the internet, hacking powers were sorely misunderstood. Internet technology made it seem like anything was possible. The general public didn’t understand the limitations of the new technology yet.
Today, the average person is a bit more tech-savvy. We know you can’t really make things explode at will with hacking, bring down the Hoover Dam with a bit of code, or battle other hackers with two people at one keyboard.
But maybe these over-the-top examples have made us a little too skeptical about the possibilities of hacking.
We’ll probably never be able to achieve time travel through hacking, but there are plenty of vulnerable systems in the present. Hackers may be more dangerous than you think.
It’s true, most hackers can be defeated by plain common sense. Using strong, unique passwords and using up-to-date software will thwart many of them.
But it’s not just your computer or smartphone that’s at risk.
Have you ever thought about having to protect your baby monitor from hackers? Hacking a baby monitor is easier than you might think, especially with modern versions that connect to WiFi and come with a smartphone app.
Ever get the feeling you’re being watched, even when you know you’re alone in the room? You very well could be under surveillance if a hacker gains access to your webcam without your knowledge.
Even hacking traffic lights isn’t quite as far-fetched as you might think.
As the Internet of Things expands and more devices are becoming “smart,” it’s more important than ever to make sure they’re secure, or your personal safety could be at risk.
Check out the graphic below for more examples of how hackers can control the world around us, and not just in the movies.