Smart Watch-out!

In our previous blog, we spoke about the positives and negatives of using a smartwatch for your daily activities. Smartwatch security is a topic overlooked by most, and why? What potential does a smartwatch really hold? Let’s consider the core functionality a smartwatch. That is: to make calls, track health, send messages and access the internet. Now imagine if this functionality were to be used against you instead. Attackers might be able to eavesdrop on your microphone, read your messages, track your movements, and log your internet-history.

Multiple companies, including Norton, recommend not storing any critical personal information on your smartwatches due to the numerous risks associated. This includes your:

  • Social security number;
  • Bank details;
  • Credit card information;
  • Address;

Reports from late 2017 show evidence of just how easy some of these devices are to hack, and could lead to devastating consequences. A quick Google search for “smartwatch security flaw” provides plenty of real stories affecting real people.

“What can I do?”

Ensuing that default security measures are correctly implemented is your best approach towards combating these attacks, it is advised to:

  • Setup a PIN/Pattern lock;
  • Have the watch lock when out of range from your phone;
  • Have the watch lock when not in contact with your wrist;

Don’t ignore the updates – Even with these measures in place, the watches may be vulnerable to software flaws out of your control. In fact, up to 7 in 10 smartwatches in a study conducted by HP were found to have issues with firmware updates, allowing the data the on them to be freely downloaded. Smartwatches can certainly improve your quality of life and be a fantastic addition to your wrist. However, as with all technology, be weary of the risks involved and be sure to minimise your digital attack surface! Opt for later models where possible and be aware of the information you carry around with you.

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