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Smartwatch Security Threats You Should Know About

With wearable tech getting all the attention a smart watch is a companion comparable to a mobile phone. This brings a need for us to discuss about the threats possible & how awareness can help you avoid them. Read ON!
Smart Watches

Smartwatches may seem like secure devices that no one would ever want to hack. However, they pose a security threat to the smartphones and computers they connect to. Since watches connect over wifi networks they are relatively easier to breach. Those that use VPN are that way more protected. Some most people don't understand what is VPN, they are unaware of its advantages, but that's left for another piece. Cybercriminals can use smartwatches to gain access to your sensitive data.

That’s why you should be aware of the common smartwatch security threats and know how to protect yourself from them. Here’s how potential hackers could exploit your smartwatch.

Gaining Access to Your Usernames and Passwords

A potential hacker could install a spying app on your smartphone through phishing, public WiFi connections, and many other ways. They can then track your movements using your wearable’s accelerometer data. They can use that data to find out when you’re walking, running, cycling, sitting, or typing.

Your accelerometer sensor would produce the same signals every time you type a particular password on your computer. A potential hacker could then recognize the same pattern and discover the password.

However, they would need to track you for a while. That would require a constant upload of your data to a remote server. This would drain your smartwatch battery and consume a lot of your traffic. That’s how you can detect if someone is hacking your smartwatch.

Finding Out Your Credit Card Details

Gaining access to your credit card is a bit harder. This is because you don’t type your credit card details as often as your usernames and passwords.

However, if you often use your credit card for online transactions, a cybercriminal could easily figure out your sensitive data. For instance, if you constantly shop online or book flight tickets and hotels, a hacker could recover the data. They’d recognize the same pattern based on your hand movements.

How Can You Protect Against Smartwatch Security Threats?

Smart Watches

Not protecting your smartwatch against potential security threats is especially alarming if you connect to your corporate network daily. You could compromise the entire network if a cybercriminal gains access to your smartwatch.

This, and the obvious privacy concerns are the reasons why you should take proper security measures. Here’s what you can do to minimize the risks.

Monitor Your Battery Usage and Internet Traffic

As already mentioned, spying on your smartwatch would require a lot of internet traffic and a lot of battery power. If you detect an unusual traffic surge, or your battery drains in six hours, someone may be hacking your smartwatch.

If this happens, remove your smartwatch, disconnect it from all your devices, and change all your passwords. To prevent it from ever happening, take the following steps.

Don’t Grant Too Many Permissions to Apps

When installing apps, be sure to install only secure apps from the official app stores (Google Play and App Store).

However, many apps ask for your location and account information. This is something cybercriminals can use to access your smartwatch. Not granting those permissions would prevent a potential hacker from knowing if it’s your smartwatch they’re trying to hack.

Connect Your Smartwatch to a Guest WiFi Network

If you’re running a business, you should set up a guest WiFi network to protect all the connected devices. If you’re an employee, advise your employer to do so.

That way, you and anyone else bringing a smartwatch to the office won’t compromise the enterprise network. You’ll be connected to a separate network, so the main network will remain private.

You should do the same for your home network so that your smartwatch doesn’t provide access to your other devices.

Use a Mobile VPN

This is the best thing you can do to successfully protect your data. A mobile VPN will detect any potential malware on your smartphone, preventing cyber criminals from collecting your smartwatch data.

Moreover, a mobile VPN will encrypt your internet connection, making you completely anonymous online. It will assign you a fake IP address, hiding all your online activity. That way, a potential hacker cannot discover your usernames and passwords.

They also won’t have access to your wearable’s accelerometer data. If a cyber crook cannot access your smartphone, they certainly cannot access your smartwatch.

With a mobile VPN, you’ll be able to safely connect to any network, including public WiFi hotspots. Public WiFi isn’t encrypted, but your mobile VPN will encrypt that connection.

Therefore, install a mobile VPN on your smartphone, and you’ll successfully minimize the security risks. As you can see, something as innocent as a smartwatch does indeed come with potential security risks. To minimize those risks, be sure to follow all the tips provided above.

Copyrights © 2024 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine

Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 7th March 2019.

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