Is Your Home Collecting Data On you?

Based on an article on Connected Devices and Your Privacy from Consumer Reports

Sure we love these products…but without security measures, these products can be your worst nightmare!

electronics that monitor your lifestyle

You are being watched

Baby monitor
Is your camera protected? In 2013 and 2014, the British press reported that sadistic hackers took over monitors to scream at sleeping children, and last fall officials in the U.K. warned that live feeds from baby monitors and home security cameras were accessible to the public on the Internet. All baby monitors that access the internet for you to view when your away or on your smart phone communicate directly with your home Wi-Fi network. Certain models can communicate directly with a phone using Bluetooth when you’re home. Parents need strong passwords on their home network and on the baby monitor itself for security.

Blood glucose meter
If you use a blood glucose meter at a hospital or doctor’s office, you are protected. Using a blood glucose meter at home is a completely different story. In a 2013 Privacy Rights Clearinghouse report analyzing 43 health and fitness apps, researchers found that very few encrypted their data.

Thermostat
Connected thermostats are like ordinary programmable thermostats that can do so much more, including saving you money by learning your home and away habits. In order to work, some smart thermostats need to track when you are home. Think of that information getting into the wrong hands!

Coffeemaker…Really?!
When you talk to your coffee maker from an app, your information becomes property of the coffeemaker and the app developer. Who cares, right? Well you may not feel so relaxed about sharing when you are home, when you wake up, and just how caffeinated you might be.

Activity tracker
I wear a fit bit. I use it to track the amount of steps I take in a day or any given week. The information sent from the trackers to the smart phone a transmitted from a tracker to its smartphone app may be sent unencrypted. The information can include your name, address, password, and, potentially, GPS data. A bad guy (burglar, stalker, angry ex) armed with that data could determine that you walk or run and where at a specific time every day.