When the fridge orders supplies


Watches, cars, TVs and even refrigerators can be connected to the internet. Those products collect data and use it to make your everyday life more comfortable. Read here how to make it more secure as well.


What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things refers to the communication between smart products and the internet. Often, a product is called «smart» if it’s connected to the internet.

Without being home you can tell your fridge to order milk or the oven to heat up so dinner’s ready as soon as you arrive. Your watch is able to send WhatsApp messages to your friends and your digital assistant plays automatically music you like.

In order to make our everyday life more comfortable smart products collect and transmit data.

So convenient! But don’t forget – these devices are little computers and can be exploited just the same.

You’re not alone.

92% of global consumers say they want to control what personal information is automatically collected about them.
Any smart device equipped with either a camera and/or a microphone is able to record visual and/or audio material. Thus, your device might not only scan your appearance but also trace your conversions. In the past, tales of smart dolls taping conversations, TVs or even cleaning robots recording what’s happening around them have emerged.

Helping the Hacker?

2017 IoT malware attacks increased by 215.7% to 32.7 million in 2018 – up from 10.3 million in 2017. And the trend continues in 2019.
Hackers can contaminate unsecure smart devices with malware, which controls the infected devices in order to create Botnets and start DDoS attacks on providers. Thus, even your baby monitor might become part of an online attack and therefor part of a larger criminal scheme.

Are you purchasing a smart product?

Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself or a specialist retailer.


  1. 1. Can I change the default password?
    A device’s default password is incredibly easy to bypass. It’s basically an open door to your device and all your activity and data. Creating your own personal password is easy and gives you control over what information comes in and goes out.
  1. 2. Is my personal data encrypted?
    Encryption turns your information or data into a code that only authorised parties can access. Using encryption protects your personal data when stored on the device or when sent over the internet.
  1. 3. Does my device update security automatically?
    Technology moves quickly and with it, new security vulnerabilities appear. To keep pace, security updates are essential. Allowing automatic updates on your device contributes to maintaining a high level of security.
  1. 4. Do I know where my data is stored… and who can access it?
    Most companies inform you about:

    • – the data that is collected about you
    • – who has access to it
    • – where it is stored
    • – what it is used for

    so that you can give your consent.

  1. 5. Do I know what my device is revealing about me?
    If your device has a camera or a microphone it could be revealing your surroundings or allowing others to listen in to your conversations. Your device is your responsibility – take action and choose what to switch off to protect your privacy.

More information

ENISA über das Internet der Dinge (EN)
Infographik zu IoT des Europäischen Cyber Security Monats (EN)
Zeit online: Der nächste Botnetzangriff kommt bestimmt (11/2016) (DE)
Video von Traficom NCSC-FI Turvalistit -Internet of Things (IoT) (English subtitles)