Wearable Technology: Utterly Fantastic or the Next Privacy Fiasco?
You’ve felt it. That tiny nagging of a feeling making you doubt for a second whether or not you should post what you’re doing on Twitter, share that picture of your new car (including the license plate, shall I mention) on Facebook, or tag your location in an Instagram photo. But that’s just the beginning! As we adopt the next generation of mobile devices – also known as wearable technology – that nagging feeling will be amplified across your entire body because you’ll have mobile devices strapped to your wrist, worn as eyewear, wrapped around your neck, and even embedded into your shoes.
We are living in a generation of oversharing and overusing. Our mindsets have shifted from “what’s safe” to “what’s next” and that gut feeling that normally tells us to be more cautious about how public we make our daily lives is being replaced by excitement over the hottest new gadgets. Wearable technology is fascinating and designed to make our lives easier, but what people forget is that every connected device we use becomes a new entry point or backdoor for cybercriminals to enter.
But they’re only glasses that record video, why would I need protection?
A fair question; however, when Google created their Google Glass, the intended use was for far more than just recording. Along with taking pictures and recording videos, these glasses allow consumers to use GPS and maps apps, send messages to saved contacts, ask Google questions, store your schedules, and of course, share all of this information to your networks – in real-time. It sounds like a dream until you realize that each of these activities is a gateway for hackers. You could potentially be sharing every aspect of your life and opening up your most private doors – from where you live, what you’re doing tomorrow at 3 p.m., to what your children look like – all to strangers who may be looking to hurt you and your loved ones.
Google Glass is not the only wearable technology becoming available to consumers. There is the rumored iWatch from Apple that would sync to all your Apple products – an outlet that could leave your data at risk. FitBit Flex, the wristwatch that tracks all your daily movements including your sleep patterns, leaving room for others to put together a snapshot of your daily life.
Every single day, a new idea emerges, and every single day, a new device is created that provides leeway for cyrberscammers to go after unsuspecting consumers. Yesterday it was smartphones and tablets, today it’s wearable technologies, and tomorrow it will be something else.
By no means should you switch your smartphone out for a flip phone, delete your Facebook account, or end your obsession with taking Instagram photos – but you should be aware of the security and privacy risks that each new connected device brings and make sure that you have the basics covered. Taking an extra second to ensure that you have your passwords and other data protected on your phone, PC and tablet could be the difference between taking a picture of what you are eating and having a stranger know where you are eating dinner.
Protect yourself. Secure your data. Love your technology. And welcome to keeping up with the 22nd century.