These vulnerabilities can have severe repercussions to users if not properly addressed, raising a myriad of privacy issues on top of security flaws. Imagine your web camera being activated and used to spy on you without your knowledge, or your home automation devices that are hijacked and used to monitor your every move at home.
While it is true that the collected information can be used to improve your viewing experience and the company’s future products, this is done at the sake of a user having to divulge their personal viewing habits. The fact is, many users do not bother to scour through layers of terms and conditions to figure out their new device’s privacy settings. Even if they did, many do not bother figuring out how exactly to switch these privacy settings off. The underlying question is: “are you willing to trade off your privacy for intelligence?” Identity theft is another issue that could arise along with these smart devices.
These cyber thefts are able to use your personal information against you, e.g. to impersonate you or access different areas of your digital life including bank account information, social media logins and emails. ‘Anonymous’, a group known for high-profile hacks are notorious for hacking into federal sites and disclosing classified information to the public. If it can happen to government sites (which are supposed to have the highest level of security), then it can surely happen to you. They could use your credit card information to make online purchases or use your login information to access your files and expose your personal life, harming your reputation. If you own a business, they could access your company email and letterhead to send out false invoices to your clients, requesting them to make transfers to offshore bank accounts.
Digital devices have become an integral part of our daily lives, and will be increasingly so in the future. We have come to a point where we cannot imagine a life without smartphones, seem to lose touch with the world without the Internet and where there is seemingly a device (or gadget) for everything. We have become so reliant on the digital-of-everything that we are overloading ourselves with them both at work and at play. IoT and smart devices worsen this by connecting devices to one another. We refer to this as ‘digital fatigue’ or more eloquently put, the ‘too-many-screens syndrome’. In the gym for example, a woman on a treadmill listens to her iPod while checking her FitBit for calories burned, sends a quick email on her smartphone, then continues watching the television when she is done; just another day at the gym.
The introduction of IoT smart devices and wearable devices will spur an even greater level of reliance on the digital. On one hand, these devices offer an unprecedented level of interconnectedness, convenience and productivity but on the other, they are taxing both mentally and physically. People are bringing their work home, browsing Facebook while having dinner with family, and chatting with friends online over messengers instead of face-to-face. Watches are not just watches anymore, they are smart devices which record everything from heart rate to calories burned to steps taken. The Nike Fuel Band even lets you set daily goals and tabulates data at the end of the day to inform you if you have reached your daily goal.
The first step as a consumer would be to educate yourself and gain a better understanding of IoT, smart devices and their applications, implications and what it could mean to the consumer landscape and yourself. Fully grasp the functionalities and features of your device in order to gain full control of your product and learn their limitations. These devices add considerable value to your life, allowing you to be ever more connected and increase your productivity yet at the same time, they cause you to detach yourself from your immediate surroundings.
When developing a smart device, it may be viable to work with a partner with an insider’s view into developing these sort of products, making sure that they possess the relevant technical expertise and understand the relevant industries, and most importantly, to share the same vision for your product as you do. With a Virgil.ant solution, you will be equipped with the best in-class product development, supply chain management and engineering team.
Here at Sourcing Overseas, we are committed to ensuring that your next big idea for a blockbuster IoT product gets developed and manufactured correctly in a cost-effective manner. Armed with decades of combined engineering, supply chain management and product development experience, and with a track record to show for, we are confident that we are able to deliver your products in a timely manner with quality to impress. Contact us now to receive a free project review.
Appadvice 2015, viewed 19 September 2015, http://appadvice.com/appnn/2015/10/the-weekly-echo-how-can- we-secure-the-internet-of-things>CBS News 2015, viewed 5 October 2015, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-your-internet-home-devices- could-be-hacked/http:Kaspersky 2015, viewed 2 October 2015, https://blog.kaspersky.com/internet-of-crappy-things/7667>Seattle Times 2015, viewed 23 September 2015, http://www.seattletimes.com/business/beware-of-digital-overload- and-technology-fatigue>Symantec 2015, viewed 28 September 2015, http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/how-safe-your- quantified-self-t https://blog.kaspersky.com/internet-of-crappy- things/7667/ racking-monitoring-and-wearable-tech