Cyber Security Companies Warn About Spying Devices

Cyber Security Companies Warning of Smart Devices Spying On You

In today’s age of advancing technology, nearly every American household makes use of smart devices in one way or another. Take a quick look around your home: What kind of technological gadgets do you have working for you? These devices are popular, and for good reason: They offer a connection to the entire world, right at your fingertips. That being said, cyber security companies and IT service companies have heard some concerns regarding security and these devices. Could the smart devices you have welcomed into your home spy on you?  Do these brilliant and convenient little gadgets have a dark side? 

Let’s take a look at the possible security risks you might have in your home right now,  discuss the dangers and review some simple tips to combat those dangers.

Are Your Smart Devices Dangerous?

A recent study by Consumer Advocate Group has raised some red flags regarding smart devices and the possibility that they may be listening to everything you say. Let’s delve into the findings of this study.

Non-Consensual Data Sharing

There are a large number of smart home devices that share users’ data without their knowledge. Many of the gadgets you have in your home right now are actively sharing your information with third-party entities.

The study brought up concern as to how much of users’ personal information is being shared, and the fact that it is being shared without their explicit consent.

Eavesdropping in Your Home

Do you have a voice-activated device in your home? Devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa have become extremely popular, and the majority of households have at least one of these devices installed. 

The study revealed that these devices are especially susceptible to the danger of eavesdropping. There have been multiple situations of these devices recording and transmitting audio data without the user’s knowledge.

 You could be under a constant audio surveillance just by having these devices in your home, and you would never know it. 

Lack of Transparency

One of the largest and most disturbing issues that this study discussed is the lack of transparency by the device manufacturers. 

Many of the manufacturers fail to properly explain and disclose important information regarding the user’s safety. Specifically, how they collect, store and share your data. This leaves you susceptible to potential privacy risks.

Overall Cyber Security Concerns

Overall, the study highlights the potential cyber security concerns that come along with all of these aspects. Unauthorized access to your personal, and possibly sensitive, information, inadequate security measures and eavesdropping are all major concerns. They can leave you especially susceptible to cyber threats such as ransomware, hacking and viruses. 

Cyber Security Companies’ Tips and Tricks to Using Smart Devices Safely

In order to keep yourself and your information safe, but still reap the benefits of smart home technology, here are a few easy steps recommended by cyber security companies.

1. Research Privacy Policies

Before you purchase a device for your home, it is important to research and carefully review the manufacturer’s privacy policy. While there are issues with transparency with some devices and manufacturers, many companies include important information in their stated policies. 

Be sure to read the fine print and look for specific information regarding things like data collection and sharing, and data privacy and protection. 

2. Use Powerful Passwords

We know that it is difficult to remember passwords, especially if they include a variety of letters, numbers and special characters, but the truth is that these are necessary for your protection. 

Using the same password for everything makes you an ideal target for cyber criminals. Make sure you use unique and powerful passwords for each of your smart home devices.

Download our simple password management guide to learn how to create the most effective passwords.

3. Limit Voice-Activation Features

If you are concerned about your smart home devices eavesdropping through their voice activation systems, you may want to consider eliminating this aspect. Check your device settings to figure out how to disable or limit the voice-activation features and further protect your household. 

4. Stay Updated

Outdated technology leaves you especially susceptible to cyber criminal activities. Make sure you update your device’s firmware often, as manufacturers regularly come out with new and improved security measures. 

5. Consider Alternatives

If none of these measures seem enough to make you feel safe using smart gadgets, there is always the option of eliminating them from your household. Do some research to see if there are any offline or limited connectivity alternatives that can provide you with similar services.

You Are Not Alone

Above all, you must do your research on all the technology you use, whether it is your cell phone, computer, software or smart home devices. Make sure you stay updated and informed about the newest cyber security threats so you can properly protect your information. 

Remember that you are not alone, everyone is in the same boat here. We all use technology and are all susceptible to these dangers. Now, if you own a business, there may be some additional questions and concerns you have regarding cyber security for your company. Contact us or book a consultation to learn more about how our team can help your business stay safe and efficient in all areas of the cyber universe.

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Brian Rodgers

Before Brian founded Aeko in 2016, he oversaw large teams as an IT executive within the oil and gas industry, leading the technology infrastructure that helped that company grow to an S&P 500 company. He is passionate about bringing those same strategies to small and midsize businesses, enabling them to scale their services and adapt more quickly to market changes.