Imagine a criminal using your nanny cam to watch your house or to scream at your child—or even to post footage of your home on a crime boss’s website. And suppose your refrigerator were spewing spam e-mail, enraging people you’d never even met.

The Internet of Things has been touted as many things. But what you haven’t heard is that it could be your worst enemy. Yet all of these incidents have actually occurred, according to news reports. And it’s likely that even more disturbing transgressions have been taking place unbeknownst to homeowners. For example, researchers have discovered that in some cases, they can hack the Internet of Things to intercept each document you print and divert it to a remote site, use your smart TV to bug your house, and even control the traffic light on the corner outside your home.

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