The latest IoT news often touches on the security concerns you might face if you have a connected home packed with smart devices.
While IoT companies in Europe and throughout the world are constantly churning out new tech, are they taking enough care to protect you and your data?
We'll glimpse at this thorny issue today. First thing's first, though, is the security of smart devices really a valid concern.
To answer this question, you only need to glance at some of the troubling stories that have dominated the news over the past 18 months. They might not crop up in an IoT press release, but they've certainly gained their fair share of column inches in the press.
There's no element of doubt that data can leak from IoT devices, but how is this information being shared exactly?
A recent IoT privacy study examined how 81 common smart devices shared the data mined. The US and UK-based researchers conducted almost 35,000 experiments to get a better handle on how data is disseminated.
The results might surprise even those already wary about privacy issues. Fully 72 of the 81 IoT devices tested shared data with unrelated third-parties. While much of this information was unimportant basics, more sensitive data like IP addresses, location data, usage habits and configurations were also shared.
Beyond this, the manner in which data is shared is also troubling. Generally, data is sent as a plaintext file meaning it's entirely unencrypted. This leaves the raw data vulnerable to anyone eavesdropping on the flow.
So, if you have Internet of Things devices in your home, you really can't be confident that your personal information will remain personal.
We'll round out with a glimpse at some of the devices that leave you most exposed to privacy concerns.
While almost any IoT device right down to your Internet router can leave your data at risk, here are the 4 main culprits in terms of privacy concerns:
All major smart speakers have been involved in data breaches.
The always-on listening nature of any device always introduces a heightened chance of that data being compromised, so be careful what you say when Alexa or Google Assistant is listening.
Smart TVs were shown in a Princeton study to capture data using smart pixels. Information about your viewing habits is then shared with third-parties.
The same study showed that 69% of Roku channels and 89% Of Amazon Fire TV channels included tracking to collect user data.
How, then, can you protect yourself against this modern threat?
We're not here to lie to you or misrepresent issues, so we'll hit you with the harsh but true bottom line...
The only failsafe solution if you're genuinely worried about your data being compromised is not to install any connected devices in your home.
In reality, though, it;s wildly unlikely you'll be involved in any kind of meaningful breach and you need to ask yourself whether you're prepared to go without the conveniences of a smart home because of some perceived threat to your privacy.
Only you know the right solution for you.
Sudipto is a Senior Content Developer at IoT Avenue who helped to build the content of the site along with several other sites with his compassionate SEO driven content. He is also a HubSpot, certified Content Marketer. He brings five years of experience to his current role, where he is dedicated to developing the content of different websites.
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