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How often do you check your smart security system? You hooked everything up, and unless something happens, you probably just assume everything’s working normally. But, what if it’s been hacked and it’s being used to spy on you? They could learn your routine and break in or see passwords and security codes as you enter them. They could even see extremely intimate details of your personal life. Check your system at least once a week for signs of a hack.1. Cameras Are Repositioned
One of the most obvious signs your smart security system has been hacked is your cameras are repositioned. If they’re tilted or angled in any way that you didn’t do, disconnect them from the network immediately. It’s possible they were just physically bumped, but check your phone or computer to see where they’re facing. Also, ask if anyone else in the house might have changed them. Otherwise, hackers may be slightly adjusting your cameras to see better.2. Unusual Traffic
This one’s a little trickier to check. Surges in network traffic may signal that a hacker is actively watching you through your security cameras. Some routers have built-in tools to let you monitor network usage. However, many don’t. You can check by accessing your router’s settings. Third-party firmware tools allow you to see the usage yourself. One of the most popular and compatible options is DD-WRT. If you want to see individual device usage, you’ll also need the additional monitor for DD-WRT called DD-WRT BBMON. Follow the documentation, which is provided on their respective sites, for the firmware and then monitor carefully.
Your ISP can also tell you if something isn’t right. If you don’t want to change your router’s firmware, contact your ISP. If they already provide data monitoring tools, use them to check for sudden spikes.3. Indoor Indicator Lights
Sometimes it’s difficult to keep an eye on your outdoor camera lights. However, your indoor camera indicator lights are usually only on if they’re currently in use. If you don’t usually have your indoor cameras recording while you’re home, an indicator light means someone is watching you. It’s also possible your system is updating, but you can contact the smart security system company to double-check.4. Login History Is Suspicious
To take control of your security system, hackers have to log in. Since you likely have an app that stays logged in all the time, you probably never check your login history. At least weekly, check for any additional logins. This is especially true if they come from different areas or devices. It’s sometimes a more subtle but clear sign something’s wrong.5. Password Changed
The single most obvious sign your smart security system has been hacked is your password is changed. If you’ve just forgotten your password, that’s different. However, if you know for certain your password is correct, you’ve probably been hacked. Contact the security company immediately to reset your password and regain control. The company will also be able to tell you when the password was reset to ensure it’s not just your kids or friends messing with you.6. You Notice Strange Sounds
If your security system has two-way audio, a hacker might accidentally give their presence away. While many are smart enough to mute their own mics, some don’t think about it. If you notice any odd sounds or human voices coming from your security system, you may have been hacked.7. Footage Is Missing or Changed
For this one, the problem could just be issues with the system itself. Data might not have transferred correctly, or your local storage may be corrupted. However, if everything seems to be okay but the footage is missing or has been changed, a hacker is likely to blame. Of course, check with others living in your home to make sure they haven’t done it first. Scroll through your footage at the end of each week to check for any noticeable problems.8. Issues with Other Devices
Your home network supports numerous devices. If one device gets hacked, all of your other devices are vulnerable too. This is also why it’s vital to use different passwords for different devices. For example, a hacker might just get your smart security system password but not your network password. They can control your system but not hack other devices yet.
If you notice other smart home devices, or even your computer or phone, are acting strangely, those devices might have been hacked. Look at everything, such as your thermostat and smart speakers. Issues mean your security system is at risk too.
Overall, these are relatively simple things to check. Turn these checks into a regular schedule for peace of mind and better home security.
Images credit: Home Security Safety Systems Cameras, Surveillance Cameras in Use, Password-Security
Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.
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You're reading 8 Signs Your Smart Security System Has Been Hacked
Controls up to 30 rooms and 50 radiators
Good app with useful features
Works in any house no matter the size or construction
No data stored in the cloud
Works with underfloor heatingCons
Expensive to control every room
No display on TRVs
Requires professional installationOur Verdict
A great smart heating system for those that want to heat only certain rooms, but controlling every radiator and installing a thermostat in every room quickly becomes expensive.Best Prices Today: Wunda WundaSmart
WundaSmart is a name you’re almost certainly unfamiliar with in the world of smart thermostats. That’s because this is the Wunda’s first smart heating system, having spent years making underfloor heating systems.
Despite this, it’s come up with a brilliant product that does exactly what most people want from a smart heating system, primarily the ability to control temperatures in individual rooms and only heat those you want to heat.
That’s in contrast to the Nest Learning Thermostat – and others – which use a single thermostat and heat all rooms based on the temperature at a single point in your home.
WundaSmart isn’t the first smart heating system to provide room-level control – and kitting out your rooms will cost you a pretty penny – but in the long run it will undoubtedly save you money. And with energy prices rocketing, this approach is really starting to make a lot more sense than it used to.Features
Uses separate thermostat to TRVs for accurate readings
No data stored in cloud
Works if internet connection drops out
If you go for the most basic WundaSmart Starter Kit, which costs £199.99, you get a thermostat with a monochrome display, a smart TRV for one of your radiators and the HubSwitch which connects to your boiler.
WundaSmart HubSwitch with backplate
Jim Martin / Foundry
This compares reasonably well with the Nest, Hive and other thermostats.
But if you’re going to choose WundaSmart over the single-thermostat systems, you’ll want considerably more kit than that.
In order to control the temperature in specific rooms, you’ll need a smart Radiator Head for each radiator in those rooms, and one thermostat per room.
Jim Martin / Foundry
That’s because – sensibly – WundaSmart doesn’t record the temperature at the Radiator Head. Instead, it uses a combination of that temperature and the one measured by the room thermostat for a more accurate reading of how warm the room is.
You have a choice of two thermostats. You can go for the same thermostat as in the Starter Kit (£70) or a screenless version (below) for £50. The latter has no buttons so isn’t used for control: only measurement. It also has terminals for an optional floor probe if you want to measure the floor temperature. Both thermostats measure humidity as well.
This is a shame considering they aren’t cheaper than those rivals, but guests can at least increase or decrease the temperature without needing to ask the homeowner to adjust it in the app. Any changes last for two hours, unless they’re overridden by a change from another source: the app or your existing heating schedule.
The system supports up to 50 radiators and 30 rooms, which is plenty for homes and more than competing systems. It’s also partly aimed at office use, where those high numbers could come in handy.
As you’d expect, there’s also support for under-floor heating and a controller unit costs £99.95.Schedules and geo-fencing
You can set up heating schedules in the app, per room, and there’s the option to use ‘adaptive startup’ which, instead of starting heating at the times you’ve chosen, the system will learn how long a room takes to reach temperature and will pre-heat to get it to that temperature by the times you’ve set.
You can use geo-fencing so that heating is turned off and on based on whether or not someone is at home. This avoids heating specific rooms when no-one is in them.
There are lots of options here, and you can set different rules for each room. You can register multiple phones so that, for example, when a teenager leaves the house, heating in their room is turned off. For communal rooms like the kitchen and lounge, you can choose what happens when the last registered user leaves, including “Set off until first User returns”.
Jim Martin / Foundry
In other words, don’t heat the kitchen until one of the family members returns home.
There are also choices for what happens when someone is back home: resume the heating schedule, go to Eco mode until the next scheduled heating period or set the Comfort mode until the next scheduled heating period.
Jim Martin / Foundry
Setting up geo-fencing can be quite confusing. First you need to register phones: otherwise the user list is empty and there’s no option there to add anyone. When registering, you can choose how far from home you need to be before you’re seen as “home” or “away” – the default is 0.3km.
Once set up, it works very reliably.Modes and options
Near the top of the Home screen is Quick Switch. This allows you to override your schedule and change the temperature in all (controlled) rooms to Comfort, Eco, Reduced or Off.
Jim Martin / Foundry
You can choose a temperature for each mode, so you have full control over what each does. Plus, after choosing a mode, you then pick whether it will apply until the next change in the schedule or until someone manually changes the temperature.
Along similar lines is the Boost function. A bit like Hive’s similar feature, there are two buttons on the HubSwitch marked Boost 1 and Boost 2. In the app you can set what these do, which means choosing which rooms to heat and for how long. Then, when you press one of the buttons, those specific rooms will get heated to the Comfort temperature. You’ll just have to remember which rooms each button controls if you’ve set each differently.
Oddly, there are no virtual Boost buttons in the app which is a bit frustrating if, like mine, your HubSwitch isn’t easy or quick to access.
Energy-saving options include open-window detection. This needs to be enabled for each room and will spot a temperature drop and automatically turn off radiators if it thinks a window has been opened. You can choose how much of a drop there needs to be (measured over two minutes) to activate this mode and how long to stop heating for.
Jim Martin / Foundry
Another is Holiday Mode which is buried deep in the settings and offers no explanation of what it does. You can set start and stop dates, but there’s a separate setting to turn Holiday Mode on and off manually.
Looking to the user manual, it “pauses your heating and hot water schedules until the end date. It will revert to antifreeze settings. If for any reason you want to turn on your heating or hot water during a holiday period, you can boost either for a period of time using the app.”
If you’re concerned about installing a wireless system, which this is, into a large home or period property with thick walls, the good news is that the radio “Seeker Signal” that WundaSmart uses offers a bigger range than Zigbee or Z-Wave – two commonly used alternatives.
The final feature of note is that none of your data is stored in the cloud. WundaSmart opts instead for storing that data locally, encrypted, “in your system”.
This also means that it will continue to work even if your internet connection goes down. But, naturally, you wouldn’t be able to control it remotely if that happened.Installation
Professional installation recommended
DIY installation possible
The only room I couldn’t use it in was the bathroom which had a towel radiator with no TRV. Theoretically, it would be possible to fit a valve, but this would require a plumber and more expense.
As there’s no under-floor heating, I couldn’t test the Connection Box.
If not, and stuck-open valves are fairly common, you’ll need to try and fix them or have them replaced by a plumber.
I found around half my home’s radiators had the older M28 thread, but installing adapters took mere seconds: the kit includes various lengths of plastic pins so you can choose the one that fits best.
There’s no option to pay for professional installation when you order, so while WundaSmart recommends this, you’ll need to arrange a fitter yourself.
As the HubSwitch will attach to the common UK thermostat backplate, it is fairly simple to replace a traditional, dumb thermostat. However, if you do this, you’ll still need to check the wiring is correct to avoid damaging the HubSwitch. Plus, there are dip switches which need to set correctly for your heating setup, otherwise the system won’t work properly or at all.
Hopefully WundaSmart can update the app so there’s no ambiguity.
Once paired, I had no issues with connectivity apart from with two screenless thermostats going offline almost immediately. The problem turned out to be that one of the two batteries had fallen out of place, presumably when slotting the unit onto its backplate on the wall. WundaSmart is now aware of this and will – again – hopefully install a foam strip to keep the batteries firmly in place.Performance
When I originally wrote this review it was July, precisely the wrong time of year to test a heating system in the UK.
But I’ve now spent a good few weeks evaluating it in winter.
The good news is that it works very well, living up to the promise of being able to control room temperatures individually.
Not only that: it largely manages to keep the temperature you’ve set very accurately, and you can see graphs of temperature and humidity, plus when the heating was on in that room, over the past week.
Jim Martin / Foundry
For the most part it is utterly reliable, too. There were only a couple of problems which the tech support team dealt with efficiently over email, with replies arriving relatively swiftly. There’s a phone number as well if you need more immediate support during office hours.
The issues appeared to be related to the RF signal, and caused the farthest radiators from the HubSwitch (around 60 feet away with several walls between them) to either turn on when they should have been off, or remain off when they should have been on.
Jim Martin / Foundry
The former was in fact cured by increasing the ‘downforce’ for that radiator head in the app, which exerts more pressure on the valve pin, ensuring it turns off and stays off.
The latter only happened twice and was resolved when the support team ran a recalibration at their end.
Dig into the room settings and you can see the rough signal strength for each thermostat and radiator head. I’m told that even the lowest report signal is still enough.
Unlike a single thermostat system where you can walk up to it and adjust the temperature, it’s more efficient to set up schedules with WundaSmart.
The interface for this is quite confusing at first, until you realise that the temperature (or Off) you’ve selected for that period is displayed above in smaller text, rather than highlighting the setting you just tapped on.
Jim Martin / Foundry
Adding multiple heating periods is easy, and you can set different temperatures for each if you want. You can then quickly copy that day’s schedule to other days, and other rooms, and edit them to remove heating periods, durations or temperatures.
The manual alternative means opening the app and tapping on each room individually to selecting a temperature and how long to heat that room for. This is easier if you only want to heat a couple of rooms.
There’s also the Quick Switch button at the top for setting all rooms to Eco, Reduced, Comfort or Off which can be useful, but is essentially the same thing as adjusting the temperature on a single thermostat system.
Compared to the Nest Learning Thermostat I was using before WundaSmart, I also found the information shown by the thermostats (with screens) to be rather basic.
Jim Martin / Foundry
They show the current temperature, but you have to press a button to see the ‘setpoint’, which is the temperature the room is being heated to or, as shown above, that it’s currently off.
There’s nothing to tell you at a glance whether the heating is currently on or not, and the E-Ink screens suffer from ‘ghosting’ which you can also see in the photo above where the temperature and humidity is still faintly visible.
You use the + and – buttons to adjust the temperature you want, which is good for guests who won’t have the app, and family members who don’t want to use it.
Put simply, I’d prefer it if they had displays like most rival smart TRVs.
The motors in the smart TRVs are relatively quiet, making less noise than those in the Honeywell EvoHome system.
It’s worth knowing that WundaSmart recommends you keep all internal doors closed for the system to work efficiently. Otherwise, the heat from one room could escape to a room or area you don’t want to heat.
The worst way to use the system, then, is to leave all the doors open and ask just one radiator to heat one room.
The other thing that WundaSmart can do is to control your hot water if, like mine, your heating system includes a separate hot water cylinder. It’s the same process as for central heating to set up a schedule for heating it.
As with a lot of smart heating systems, hot water control doesn’t feel particularly smart. It’s a simple on/off control and there’s no way to see in the app what the temperature of your water is.
If you want to know that, you’ll have to look at the cylinder itself, but often they have a basic thermostat that simply determines how hot the water is heated to, but does not show the temperature of the water inside.Price & availability
WundaSmart is available in the UK, but you can also buy it and use it in any European country.
It isn’t available in the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
The minimum you’ll need for it to work is the £199.99 Starter Kit, but as mentioned, if you’re only going to buy that, you could instead buy a cheaper single-thermostat kit.
For this review, five Smart Thermostats were installed and five Screenless Thermostats. Some rooms have two or three small radiators, which meant I needed 14 smart TRVs. Adding the Starter Kit, the total price was £1639.99.
However, if you have a total of 10 radiators and decide not to go for separate thermostats, the system will cost you £799.99.
It’s worth taking a look at Honeywell’s EvoHome system as well: some components (such as room thermostats and the UFH controller) are more expensive, but others, such as the Smart TRVs, are cheaper, despite having a useful LCD display.
It is, however, even more expensive than WundaSmart.
A cheaper option is Drayton’s Wiser system, which uses smart TRVs for room-level control.
The benefit with all these modular systems is that you can add to them over time. If you can’t afford an initial £1000+ outlay, you can begin with a starter kit and go from there when funds allow.
For more alternatives, read our roundup of the best smart heating systems.Verdict
WundaSmart may not be perfect but it is an impressive smart heating system that’s relatively easy to install and use. You could, if you’re competent, install the HubSwitch yourself, too.
The app could do with some finessing, particularly the pairing instructions, the screen for setting up each heating period, and it would be nice to have some virtual Boost buttons to avoid having to go to your boiler.
The screenless thermostats need special attention to make sure you don’t knock the batteries out of place while installing them.
Of course, the big question for many people considering such a system is how much it will save them on their energy bill. If you have no desire to save money, then you’d have to question the value of paying so much to control individual radiators and rooms.
WundaSmart quotes “up to 31%” savings, which is similar to rival systems. It’s almost impossible to calculate exactly how much you’d save because so many factors are involved, not least the fact that the weather is never identical from one year to the next. You can only use typical figures.
However, the fact that this system allows you to heat only the rooms you want to at the times you want them to be warm could well lead to significant savings over the next few years as energy prices continue to rise. You can find out more on WundaSmart’s website about whether turning off radiators really does save money.
Of course, you could go round your home turning radiators on and off manually throughout the day for free. But let’s face it, no-one wants to do that.
When you shop around for multiple cameras, sensors, and alarms, the cost for a smart security system can be quite high. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. We’ve found some great smart security systems that bundle everything together into one kit for under $500.
All of these systems make almost none, or very small sacrifices to meet this price range, whilst still focusing on high quality security features. They are also great starting points for any future plans you may have for building upon it once you have the funds available.
Table of ContentsYI 4 piece Home Camera System with 24/7 Recording – $119
If you’re simply looking for camera surveillance, you can’t go wrong with the 4 piece system from YI. You get four cameras that record 1080p at 15 frames per second.
You can record audio too, and each of the four cameras have an enhanced night vision mode. Noise and motion detection features are available and you can get notifications for any movement sent straight to your phone.
You can also view your cameras remotely through the YI app, and if you sign up to YI Cloud, you can get cloud storage to save your recordings. If not, you can still use a microSD card to backup any footage.
So long as you either backup regularly or have YI Cloud switched on, you are able to record with these cameras 24/7 without running into any issues.Wink Lookout Smart Security Starter Kit – $199
The Wink Lookout smart security kit is a nice step up for anybody that needs a bit more security than from what cameras can provide. In this kit, you get one motion sensor, a siren for signalling an alert if your home is broken into, and two sensors for windows or doors.
Setting up the kit is easy – all of your devices will connect to each other right away and you can use the Wink Hub 2 included in the box to pair it with other smart products. Supported manufacturers include Nest, Philips, Ring, Sonos, Ecobee, Arlo, and much more.
With this in mind, it becomes easy to integrate the Wink security starter kit into an existing smart home, or set it up and have it ready for when you purchase any future smart home equipment in the future. The incredible compatibility with so many other systems is why it’s such a good starting point, or accessory for an existing home security system.
Alongside the hardware, you get access to the Wink app. With this, you can be notified when any activity happens at your home. You can set it up so that your siren goes off automatically, or even manually switch it on via the app to alert your neighbors and hopefully cause any would-be thieves to scatter.Fortress Security S03 WiFi Deluxe Pet Kit – $229.99
Fortress offers a variety of bundles at varying prices points. The S03 WiFi Deluxe Pet Kit is essentially their top tier option in their Alexa controlled range. In this bundle, you get a main panel for connectivity, 8 window and door break-in contacts, an outdoor flashing strobe siren, a panic button, 3 remote fobs, a loud plug-in white siren, and 4 RFID key tags.
With the included app, you can control everything remotely, set up voice control via Alexa, and view activity even when you’re not at home. With the two included sirens, it’s possible to remotely activate or deactivate the alarms, or change whether an alarm will sound if it gets triggered.
The four key tags are nice touches for those with pets. You can set it up so that the local emergency number is automatically dialled should there be a break-in. Alternatively, you can set it to call out to your own personal number, or up to 6 other numbers, should you be in a location where you don’t have internet to access the Fortress Security app.
The main panel features a two-way intercom system for talking remotely with those at home, which could be used in a pinch, but mostly it’s the other remote security features that make this kit stand out.SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security System – 12 Pieces – $399
This particular security system has been highly rated by industry greats like CNET and PC Magazine. It gets a lot of credit for featuring great security hardware and cheap security monitoring, too.
You can pay to have your home monitored for just $14.99 per month. In the kit, you get the base station that can send alarm signals to the monitoring center, both via WiFi or through cellular connectivity.
The monitoring center also helps the whole system to run even in the case of a power outage. They keypad can also be used to enter your home without tripping the system, and if it is damaged, it’ll send an alarm signal too.
windows, 2 motion sensors, a panic button, a key fob, and the SimpliCam. The SimpliCam is what SimpliSafe claim to be one of the most important parts for alerting the police and catching criminals with hard evidence in the case that somebody does attempt to break in to your home. Finally, this system can be controlled entirely via Amazon Alexa.Arlo Pro 2 – 2 cameras with Doorbell – $417
The Arlo Pro 2 is a powerful camera-centric smart security system. This kit includes the base system and 2 cameras with 2-way audio. Each camera has night vision mode, weather resistant designs, and flexible powering options. The cameras record in 1080p and capture higher quality, clearer footage than most cheaper options.
When somebody rings your doorbell, you can get notifications or even straight up calls via the Arlo smartphone app. You can also talk remotely through the doorbell. Visitors can leave voice messages, too.
You can get rechargeable batteries or purchase additional cables to keep the cameras plugged in at all times. Arlo offers a subscription for cloud storage and the system comes with a 7 day free trial. Arlo’s magic comes into play when you integrate it into an existing smart home.
Arlo can work with Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and even IFTTT. You are given a lot of freedom over how you integrate Arlo 2 into an existing system. You can also purchase existing cameras for $216.Summary
That wraps up our look at the top smart security systems for under $500. What did you think of these options? If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you when I can. For a quick reminder, here is what we covered:
YI 4 Piece camera system – Cheap cameras and remote access via the app for $119
Wink Lookout Kit – A great starter kit for those hoping to expand in the future for $199
Fortress Security S03 Deluxe Pet Kit – Do it yourself security with many gadgets for $229.99
SimpliSafe Security System – A kit for $399 and a monthly monitoring subscription for $14.99
Arlo Pro 2 – an excellent camera and doorbell kit for $417
So our concerns are evidently far from new. The Victorian era experienced not only the extraordinary upheavals of the industrial revolution, but also the arrival of gas and then electric lighting, turning night into day. The creation of an international telegraph network similarly revolutionized systems of communication, establishing global connectivity and, for groups such as businessmen, financiers, and politicians, a flow of telegrams at all hours.
Such shifts brought new patterns and expectations of work. By the 1860s the twin diseases of modernity—overwork and sleeplessness—became the focus of cultural anxieties. Victorian medical men warned against the dangers of sleeplessness. Drawing on this research, an 1866 article in the Spectator argued that sleeplessness was one of the “most annoying concomitants of civilized life”, but also one of the greatest threats to health:
Such concerns remain strong today. In his recent book Why We Sleep, the neuroscientist Matthew Walker highlights current medical findings on the threats to health from sleep deprivation, ranging from cancer, stroke, and heart failure, to Alzheimer’s, depression, and suicide tendencies.
Sally Shuttleworth and the Diseases of Modern Life team worked with the Projection Studio to create a light and sound projection onto the Radcliffe Humanities Building in Oxford, November 2023. Projection StudioThe brain-worker
The perils of sleeplessness are, of course, common to all. But the Victorians didn’t think so. Although the industrial classes had to work extraordinarily long hours, and were housed in poor conditions which must have affected their capacity to sleep, Victorian concerns about sleep were all focused on the professional classes, and that new creation of the period, the “brain-worker”. Sleeplessness was identified with overactivity of the brain, and hence the prime victims were believed to be those who laboured excessively with their brains, such as doctors, lawyers, academics, bankers, or politicians.
There was also considerable concern about schoolchildren being forced to labour long into the night on their homework, thus curtailing their sleep, with many doctors and social reformers calling for a scrapping of the “payment by results” system (which linked a school’s funding to the success of its pupils in examinations), and the creation of more healthy and sleep-friendly regimes of education. In his wonderful work, Hurry, Worry and Money: the Bane of Modern Education (1883), the Leeds physician Pridgin Teale inveighed against the new competitive system of education which destroyed the health and moral well-being of pupils and teachers alike, leaving them exhausted and demoralized.
Therapeutic belts which supposedly cured a number of ailments, including sleeplessness. Wellcome Collection, CC BY
As this suggests, our own social problems with addiction to sleeping pills have their parallels in the Victorian age. Chloral quickly became a drug of choice, as our clergyman suggests. It was associated with numerous high-profile deaths, from the artist and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti to the scientist John Tyndall (who died when his wife gave him an accidental overdose).
In one case, a Cambridge classicist, burdened with too much examining, took to chloral and ended up taking his own life. Such examples were widely publicized in books on the wear and tear of modern life.Counting sheep
The Victorians were acutely aware of the relationship between the new social conditions, technologies and work practices, and the problems generated for health (although their concerns were admittedly largely focused on the upper echelons of society).
In the 20th century, with increasing specialization in areas of medicine and science, that sense of technology’s interconnection with and impact on society was often lost. But recent research is recovering that balance. Overwork and lack of sleep, the Victorians argued, could lead to an early grave. Although such claims were often seen as too alarmist at the time, current sleep science has now endorsed that position. Too little sleep might indeed kill you.
Sally Shuttleworth is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford.
This article was originally featured on The Conversation.
Many a time it may so happen that programs on your Windows 11/10 PC get denied of accessing graphics hardware. The message says that an Application has been blocked from accessing Graphics hardware. One of the common scenarios is when your PC is stuck for some reason when playing a game. This somehow misconfigures the driver, and when an application tries to access the graphics driver, it just fails. In this guide, we share how you can fix Application that has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware error.Application has been blocked from accessing Graphics hardware
In my experience, the problem majorly happens where the driver is not compatible with your existing Windows 11/10 version, and mostly fails to post a major update. This causes the GPU to take more time to respond to graphics requests and mostly fails. Let’s take a look at the possible solutions.1] Uninstall and Re-install the graphics card driver
This is the first thing you need to try. Many a time the drivers downloaded from the Windows Update misconfigures. The best way is to download the latest drivers from the OEM site. You will need to search on the website using the details of your graphics card name. Check out our post on Uninstall and reinstall the drivers. When installing the driver, make sure to run the program compatibility mode for Windows 11/10.2] Run the Hardware Devices troubleshooter 3] Give access to graphics hardware to applications Windows 11
In Windows 11, you can select which apps can use your graphics hardware. By default, this option is set to Power Saving mode where Windows decides the Graphics preference for different apps. But if you want, you can change this setting. The following steps will help you with that:
In the Settings app, make sure that you have selected the System category on the left side.Windows 10
Windows 10 Graphics settings allow you to dedicate applications to use a graphics card. This will work if you are having a problem with specific applications accessing graphics hardware. It works for both WIN32 Applications and Apps from the store.
Read more about using Graphics settings in Windows11/10.4] Disable TDR checker
TDR stands for Timeout Detection and Recovery. This feature first appeared in Windows Vista and then has been there till Windows 11/10. The system is built to recover system graphics when the OS fails to receive a response within a certain amount of time. The default is set to 2 seconds.
It may so happen that graphics card takes more time because of an intensive task, and OS feels there is some problem and restarts the graphics as a recovery method. The solution which we are suggesting now increases the TDR time to more than 8 seconds. This gives more window for OS to react.
Exit all the applications on the PC.
Type regedit on the search box, and launch it with admin privileges.
Browse to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet002 ControlGraphicsDrivers or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet001 ControlGraphicsDrivers
Whichever is available – depending on your Windows version i.e. 32-bit or 64-bit, and do the following:
For 32 bit Windows:
Select DWORD (32-bit) value.
For 64 bit Windows :
Select QWORD (64-bit) value.
Restart your PC after this so the changes can take place.
The registry change we did adds another 8 seconds of delay to the TDR checker. So if the GPU responds back in 10 seconds, it still works. You may have to change this value to see what exactly works for you.
If it still doesn’t work, you may have to take an aggressive step, and completely turn of TDR. You can do this by changing the “TdrLevel” enter the data value as 0, and then delete the TdrDelay key.
Restart your PC once again.How do I reinstall the graphics driver?
To reinstall the graphics driver, first, you have to uninstall it. The steps to uninstall the graphics driver are as follows:
After the uninstallation process gets completed, you will have two options to reinstall the graphics driver:
Restart your computer: You can restart your computer after uninstalling the graphics driver and let Windows reinstall the latest version of the graphics driver automatically.
Install the graphics driver from the manufacturer’s website: You can visit your manufacturer’s website and download the latest version of the graphics driver and install it on your system manually.How do I update my graphics driver?
What To Do When Your Smartphone Is Already Hacked
There are hundreds of malicious apps that can bug your smartphone and steal your precious information. There are spying apps that can keep a watch on your online activities or keep a track of your location, search history, favorites, and other activities. Even big companies like Facebook and Google are also involved in capturing such information until you disable those tracking options.
Now the question is, how to know if your smartphone is already hacked and how to secure your device from being compromised. If this question is bothering you, this article is a must-read!How To Identify If Your Smartphone Is Hacked?
There can be several signs if your phone has been hacked or compromised but not all of them are noticeable. We have compiled top five noticeable signs that you should notice and stay alert.1. Decrease in Battery Life
If a smartphone is hacked or the security is compromised due to a malware attack, the lifespan of the battery life will decrease significantly. The spying app or the malware may be consuming your phone’s resources and battery to transmit your information to other servers.2. High Data Usage
If you are running out of data in a short span of time, your phone might be compromised. Malware or Spyware running in the background will consume a lot of data to communicate with their servers.3. Sluggish Performance
A compromised smartphone will encounter frequent freezing, crashing apps, or overloading phone’s resources that lead to sluggish performance. You may also notice unstoppable apps that don’t kill running in the background.4. Unknown Outgoing Calls or Messages
If you are noticing unknown outgoing calls or messages that you haven’t made, be very certain about a compromised phone. This may cost you additional charges or unknown spam calls made internationally from your device. A prompt action is required in such a scenario.5. Frequent Notifications
If you are receiving frequent notification alerts of OTP, Password Change, Account Access, follow a link to reset credentials, or any such suspicious activity, you should be alert of possible scam.Other Symptoms
There can be several other symptoms that may warn you to stay alert or protected. You may receive frequent pop-ups that you are not aware of, you may see unusual activity with your linked Email accounts or bank accounts. Fortunately, by using a reliable mobile security app, you don’t have to worry about any malware threats or vulnerabilities harming your device.
What You Can Do?
Which Is The Best Mobile Security App?
Consider using Smart Phone Cleaner to protect your device from online/offline threats. Now you must be thinking about how a cleaning app can help you in safeguarding your device and data. Well, it’s a multi-purpose solution, equipped with dozens of tools and modules to clean, optimize, speed up and protect your phone from potential malware threats and infections. Its real-time protection ensures no new malicious content harms your smartphone. You can even schedule regular malware scanning on an everyday/weekly basis to stay always protected!
Always connect to a trusted Wi-Fi network to connect online. Free Wi-Fi networks are prone to threats.
Make sure that you use a secured passcode, fingerprint impression or facial recognition app to unlock your phone.
Don’t connect your phone to unknown charging stations until you have a security software installed.
Perform a routine check on all the installed apps and uninstall unknown or unwanted apps.
Clean RAM, Browsing History, links and run a security scan on the device once a day.
Use the Best VPN Service for Android Whenever visiting suspicious websites.
Never leave your device open and unattended to avoid misuse of hacking.What Hackers Need to Get into Your Phone?
Hackers can get into your phone via different modes. They can enter your phone with a contaminated email, an attachment, a link to follow, an App from app store, a Code, OTP, SMS Message, or anything that can execute and connect your phone with their system.Can Phone Be Hacked When Turned Off?
A phone can’t be hacked if it is turned off. It can’t run any code or establish any connection when all the networks are down. It is recommended to switch off your mobile phone if you notice any suspicious activity going on your device however as all the accounts linked to your phone are functional online, there are still chances of theft even if you have your phone switched off.
Must Read: How To Track A Lost or Stolen PhoneCan I Track My Relative’s Phone Without Them Knowing?
To keep a track of a device’s location, calls, chats or access its gallery, there are hundreds of programs available. You can listen to call recordings, track their live location, read their WhatsApp, FB messages, or track their social activities just with a single tap. You just need to get hold of the device once to grant access and track the activity of any friend or relative’s device. Even without touching their phone, you can gain access to someone’s phone, that’s what hackers do.Is Someone Spying on My Phone?
That’s a big question! You may not know when someone starts spying on you through your smartphone. The question is how do you know if someone is watching you through your phone? If your phone is hacked or someone has cloned your phone, it will start acting crazy. Like delayed response, phone stuck on a particular screen, annoying behavior, etc.How to Find Out Who Hacked Your Cell Phone? Summing Up
It is painful to lose all your precious data and compromise on your privacy. Precaution is better than cure and some infections are so irreversible that you can only regret and do nothing with what has happened. It is better if you are aware of the symptoms and the causes to narrow down and minimize the impact of the damage.
Use one of the best antiviruses for Android but don’t just rely on security apps and be vigilant about the latest threats and mobile antivirus for precautions. Norton mobile security is again one of the best security apps that you can install on your device besides it consumes a lot of resources while providing uninterrupted smartphone security.
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Free Android Malware Removal AppsQuick Reaction:
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