Are smart watches and smart bands safe? –

Smartphones and tablets, smart watches and smart bands – these are the devices that accompany us every day, monitor our health, deliver emails and SMS messages, or provide access to banking services. Are they safe? ESET experts advise what smartwatch and strip users should pay attention to.

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First of all, we need to know that these devices collect a lot of information that could endanger our privacy. Health settings, location or user information is a culture of knowledge about our lives. In addition, smart watches can be connected to the intelligent systems of other nearby devices. Therefore, it is worth understanding the potential threats to security and privacy from the incompetent use of modern watches and tapes.

Cybercriminals can find out the whereabouts of their victims

One of the main types of information recorded by most smartwatches and tapes is the user’s location. With this information, a hacker can create an accurate profile of the actions of a user during the day. This, in turn, has the potential to physically attack not only the user, but also his home or car when the owner is not nearby. In addition, some devices can be used to control smart appliances. They can even be configured to open the front door. This poses a serious security risk in the event of loss or theft of devices, and anti-theft settings are not active.

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Are smart watches safe?

All devices may be compromised if security measures are not taken by the manufacturer to protect confidentiality.

Most users are unaware of the capabilities of their devices. A few years ago, security researchers discovered gaps in children’s smart watches that revealed their location and personal information. Kamil Sadkovsky of ESET says a separate study earlier found that some vendors’ devices send unencrypted personal information of children using their products to servers in China.

Where do device ecosystems fail?

The devices we carry are just part of the picture. In fact, the device has many components, from software to protocols used to connect applications to cloud servers. When security measures are not taken by the manufacturer to protect confidentiality, they can all be attacked.

In recent years, a number of vulnerabilities have been discovered in devices using the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol, which allows nearby attackers to malfunction the device and in some cases even view or manipulate the transmitted data. Often the software on the device itself is vulnerable to external attacks due to poor security. Even at the best of times, there can be errors that cause data leakage and loss. Smartphone applications associated with smartwatches and tapes are another possible attack vector, warns an expert from antivirus software manufacturer ESET.

Best practices for device security

  • Use two-factor authentication

  • Use the screen lock

  • Change device settings to prevent unauthorized pairing

How to protect your smartphone?

  • Just visit the official software stores

  • Update your smartphone’s operating system and software

  • Never jailbreak / rooting – removing restrictions imposed by the manufacturer can significantly affect the security level of the device.

  • Restrict application permissions

  • Install a reliable security program on the device

How to protect your smart home?

  • Don’t sync smart watches and smart bands with your front door

  • Connect your devices to a Wi-Fi network for guests only

  • Update the program on all devices

  • Make sure all factory default passwords on the devices have been changed

It’s a good idea to take a closer look at your privacy and security settings to make sure your device’s configuration meets your individual privacy needs. As smart devices become an increasingly common part of our lives, they will also become a more frequent target of attackers. Check reviews about the device before buying and check the security and privacy settings after launching it – summarizes the expert ESET.

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