Lock it down
If you’ve splashed a load of cash on the latest Garmin (well, you got it in Amazon’s Black Friday sale), you want your personal deets to be locked down.
Wearables aren’t just useful running trackers or a speedy way to answer your email. They’re another device in your tech arsenal that stores personal data and connects to a network, so could be at risk of being hacked.
There’s three potential attack points: the device itself, the app, and the cloud where the data is stored. A lot of wearable tech is developed really quickly due to demand, so it could only be 6 months from completing the product to being shipped out to customers. That definitely doesn’t seem like enough time for testing and ensuring security features are in place.
Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch – they all connect to a network. Whether it’s your home, work, or a public network, you could be putting your device at risk of attack if the right security measures aren’t in place. Some tests have found that certain devices stored text used for voice prompts in plaintext, as well as the user’s name and personal details. Clever.
When it comes to apps, good old Bluetooth is there in the background. Other apps are in use with wearables, for instance playing music and tracking apps like Strava and Nike Running. There’s always the risk that information could be leaked, seeing as Bluetooth shares signal with all the apps in use on the device. And all of your personal data and statistics will be stored in the cloud too.
As wearables are often rebranded by multiple companies and sold out as different products, there could be some crossover too, as most of the data will be stored on a single database. End-to-end encryption is needed, especially as we use these devices for more daily tasks.
Definitely do your homework on the device, review your security settings, and don’t connect to public networks. Don’t forget about locking down your Strava settings too, they have their sneaky, ‘off-by-default’ privacy settings.