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Here's how to make sure your tech gadgets are cyber safe

Posted at 5:43 AM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 08:24:56-05

Before you take advantage of Cyber Monday deals or do any more shopping in store, you want to make sure what you buy is safe for you and your family.

The Mozilla Foundation released a list of products and tips to help you shop cyber safe this holiday season.

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It rated products on different factors including what the product knows about you, if and how you can control it, how the company shows it cares about its customers and what could happen if something went wrong.

It lists whether the product meets its minimum security standards and, if not, what vulnerabilities could make it unsafe or able to be hacked.

You can view the complete list here: https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/

Online Shopping Tips 

Cyber security expert Ian Marlow with FitechGelb said there are ways to protect yourself with products that may not be as secure. He says one of the first things you need to do is change the default password.

"When they come out of the box they are very simple like 123 or just the word password, but you really need to make sure you change it because then anyone can log in," Marlow said. "Manufacturers are trying to make it easier for you to launch the product but are also making it easier for hackers to get in." 

He also says to look in the product instructions to see if it uses an encrypted connection and if you don't see it, the information may be held in a public fashion. 

Another thing you can do is monitor how children are using tech gadgets and make sure you turn then off when they are not in use.

When it comes to the popular Amazon Alexa, Marlow says, "Alexa is very secure, it’s connected directly through Amazon. It has those ideas of encryption. It has automatic updates. It has the password change, but what is also does is it's listening all the time. Because it’s listening all the time, people have to realize third parties outside your house through Amazon, maybe getting information or Amazon is listening. If that makes you uncomfortable, there is a way to mute that microphone and turn it off."

He says it is all about deciding what you are comfortable with and adjusting your settings accordingly. 

Marlow also adds when shopping on Cyber Monday, or any day for that matter, make sure you are visiting a secure site and monitor your credit card statement very closely for the following days.