Is a smartwatch on your Christmas list this year? From smartwatches to fitness and health trackers, it seems like nearly everyone is rocking some sort of wearable technology these days. This year alone the wearables market was projected to generate nearly $4 billion. But as with any connected device, smartwatches and the like can be hacked.
In this blog post, I will share a few smartwatch security tips that can help you minimize security and privacy threats and keep you safe.
- Research the Smartwatch Security Features Before You Purchase
If you’ve yet to purchase a smartwatch but are in the market for one, don’t just let style or price guide your purchase: be sure to look into the security features the smartwatch offers before purchasing. Whatever you do, don’t just go with the cheapest option. A security researcher found that a super cheap smartwatch sold on eBay used a pairing app containing a backdoor that connected to an unknown Chinese IP address, undoubtedly a big risk.
- Set Up the Security Features Before You Start Wearing It
It’s important to note that the smartwatch security features are not set up on your device right out of the box. “Be sure to check your settings and turn on the ones you want,” advises this Federal Trade Commission blog, which goes on to recommend you:
- Set a PIN: Set up a short PIN that you can type to unlock the watch.
- Create a pattern lock: Create a pattern that you can draw on your screen to unlock it.
- Use your phone: Have your watch lock if it’s too far from your phone to “pair.”
- Detect your wrist: Set your watch to lock when you take it off your wrist.
(Source: Federal Trade Commission)
Some smartwatches, like Apple’s Activation Lock, prevents your Apple watch from being paired with an unapproved device. If your smartwatch offers this feature, enable it. Likewise, some wearable devices offer remote erase features, which means if the device were to be lost or stolen, you could remotely delete the data and disconnect the device from your phone.
- Be Careful About the Apps You Download
Be sure to safeguard your smartphone, since one of the vulnerabilities is the communication link between your smartwatch and smartphone. Be careful about which apps are installed on your phone by researching their credibility and only downloading apps sold in the Google Play Store or ioS App Store.
- Update Your Smartwatch Software
While it’s annoying to keep track of the updates, it’s worth it. Those updates oftentimes fix dangerous security flaws.
If holiday shopping is on your mind, we recommend you check out our recent blog post “6 Cyber Monday Safety Tips to Keep You Safe While Shopping Online” before you start making purchases. And do you plan to use your credit or debit card for those purchases? Believe it or not, it really does make a difference. According to experts, one is safer than the other; visit our post for the lowdown.
Did you know that 15.4 million Americans had their identity stolen last year? With the Equifax breach and dozens of other data breaches this year, security experts agree it’s very likely your personal information has been compromised. Who would you call if you learned your identity had been stolen?
LibertyID is the AAA of identity theft protection, offering the most effective identity theft restoration and protection service. Sign up for an annual subscription and rest easy knowing that if your identity is stolen, we will fix it. There’s no limit to the time or money we will spend restoring your identity to pre-event status. A certified restoration specialist will handle all of the legwork and keep you informed with regular status updates. But just like with AAA, you have to be covered before there’s an incident.