These Gifts Can Come with Security Issues

These Gifts Can Come with Security Issues

The holiday season is coming to a close, with meals shared and gifts opened. You may have even received a new gizmo or doodad that you’re looking forward to trying out. Not to burst your bubble, but there is unfortunately a chance that the gizmo you had hoped to get (or purchased for a loved one) may lead to a security breach.

Smart Home Hubs and Assistants
These devices were touted as useful gadgets to have around the house as a mix between a media center and reference source. The trouble with devices like these is that they are always listening for you to speak, with microphones that automatically activate. Think about everything you say in the privacy of your own home. A cybercriminal could listen in, taking that privacy away and quite possibly learning some invaluable information.

To make this situation worse, many “smart home” devices also have cameras, invading your privacy in yet another way.

Admittedly, the thought of controlling one’s house by telling it what to do is, for lack of a better term, pretty cool. However, the questionable security that many of these devices suffer from gives cybercriminals the unique opportunity to spy on you, whether you use the assistant at home or in the office. This is also important to keep in mind if a young person you know recently received one of these devices.

Smart and Connected Toys
While many connected devices are clearly meant for an older demographic, there is an equal amount that are intended for children. For example, many toys are now capable of functioning in a way quite similar to a smart home hub, and others have features that are outright creepy. For example, if a child has a Toymail Talkie, a cybercriminal could use it to communicate directly to that child. Other connected toys offer cybercriminals with intimate details about the schedule of a child. For instance, the connected bath toy, Edwin the Duck, can be used to tell a hacker the general time that a child is in the bath and when they are put down for the night.

Connected and Smart Appliances
Grown-ups have to have their toys, too. Appliances and accessories with “smart” capabilities are becoming increasingly common, but unfortunately lack the security required to protect them from cyberattack and intrusion. Assorted wearable tech, like fitness trackers, and Internet of Things devices, or any of those devices that aren’t a computer or laptop but still utilize the Internet, are becoming more and more popular. Unfortunately, because their security is sub-par, these devices can easily be leveraged as a part of a botnet, or can also be used to extract data from their surroundings.

DNA Tests
It would seem that there was a sizable push to frame these ancestry testing kits as the perfect holiday gift this year, despite there being host to numerous privacy issues. Consider what you have to provide to the company. By handing over a vial of your spit, you’re giving them the most unique piece of personally identifiable information you possess: your genetic code, also known as your DNA.

This information quickly becomes very valuable once the topic of research is brought up.

When using one of these services, there are plenty of agreements to sign. These agreements will often give the company the leeway to use your genetic data as they please, including selling a digitized version to whomever is willing to pay.

Despite the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 forbidding the use of genetic information to justify discriminatory acts, like firing someone because they have a predisposition to a medical condition, it isn’t easy to prove this kind of discrimination. After all, an employer could easily find some other reason to terminate someone’s employment--the fact that they were predisposed to a medical condition that would keep them out of work would just be a “coincidence.”

While we hope that your holidays were as bright and cheerful as they should be, we don’t want an unexpected data breach to spoil those memories. For more products that could put your security at risk, check out Mozilla’s handy guide.

Did you have any of these items on your wishlist? Is it worth keeping them around despite the risk to your data security? Leave your thoughts on the matter in the comments section!



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Sunday, 18 March 2018

Captcha Image

Request a Free Consultation

  • Company name *
  • First Name *
  • Last Name *
  • Title
  • Phone
  • What are your concerns?

      Sign up for our Newsletter!

      • Company *
      • First Name *
      • Last Name *

          Mobile? Grab this Article!

          QR-Code dieser Seite

          Tag Cloud

          security Tip of the Week technology Hackers Privacy Best Practices Cloud Business Computing Productivity business Malware Microsoft Internet IT Services Backup Hosted Solutions Managed Service Provider IT Support Email Network Mobile Devices Workplace Tips Communication Hardware Disaster Recovery Computer Smartphones Mobile Device Management Microsoft Office network security Holiday Windows Miscellaneous Business Continuity Small Business Windows 10 Efficiency Software Data Server Smartphone Google Alert Business Management User Tips Virtualization Internet of Things Upgrade Saving Money Ransomware Social Media WiFi Remote Monitoring Innovation Cybersecurity BYOD Passwords VoIP Remote Computing Operating System Gmail Big Data Android Browser Apple Spam Vendor Management App Mobile Computing The Internet of Things Office Apps Hacking Phishing Analytics Facebook Information Technology Budget Collaboration Wireless Technology Artificial Intelligence Business Growth Risk Management Gadgets Data Management Retail Office 365 Best Practice IT Solutions Cybercrime Tech Support Bring Your Own Device Hacker Save Money Customer Service Managed IT Services Cost Management Automation Going Green Robot Outsourced IT Office Tips Money Presentation Website Content Filtering Firewall Downtime Antivirus Lithium-ion Battery Proactive IT Running Cable intranet Current Events Customer Relationship Management virus Avoiding Downtime End of Support Hosted Solution Bitcoin IT service Maintenance Two-factor Authentication communications Data storage Recovery IT Consultant Managed IT Hard Drives Saving Time Mobile Device Laptop Cortana VPN Social Engineering Health Employer-Employee Relationship Outlook Application Computers Document Management Private Cloud Excel project management Company Culture Hiring/Firing Tablet Wireless Data Breach Business Owner iPhone Data Recovery Settings Competition Bandwidth Virtual Desktop IT Support eWaste Administration Search Cryptocurrency Net Neutrality Humor Twitter Trending Education Analyitcs Network Congestion Google Docs Blockchain Programming Hacks Vulnerabilities Augmented Reality Specifications User Disaster Marketing Social LiFi Websites Phone System Productivity Piracy Chrome USB Windows 8 PowerPoint Cloud Computing Samsung Statistics Password Save Time Work/Life Balance Data Security Safety Quick Tips Mouse Update Mobile Technology Law Enforcement Encryption Solid State Drive Hard Drive Disposal Paperless Office Windows 8.1 Update Backups Redundancy Printer Mobile Payment Word Freedom of Information Device security Gadget YouTube Alt Codes Unified Threat Management Legal Printer Server Patch Management News Domains Tech Term Politics Public Cloud Debate Typing Fiber-Optic Users Wi-Fi Downloads Consumers IT Plan Black Market Skype bdr Comparison Fake News Public Speaking Identity Theft HTML Telephony Memory Fraud security breach 5G data breaches Business Intelligence Google Drive Migration LinkedIn Halloween Television Heating/Cooling Microsoft Excel IBM Managed IT Services Environment Data Protection Training Computer Repair email scam Modern technology risk Business Technology Processors Best Available Scary Stories Cyber-attacks Display Troubleshooting Mobility History Router File Sharing People business owners cyberattack Desktop Notifications Video Surveillance Sports SharePoint Monitors Unified Communications Tip of the week Flexibility Files Touchscreen Licensing Printing Computing Infrastructure Fun cyberattacks Storage Applications Telephone Systems Distributed Denial of Service Writing Managed Service Providers Digital Data loss Computing Vulnerability Help Desk businesses Entrepreneur Refrigeration Dark Data Mobile Security Crowdsourcing Buisness Evernote Botnet Deep Learning Virtual Assistant today ’s world IP Address IT Management Google Wallet Networking Virtual Reality Knowledge Software as a Service Documents Government CIO Data Warehousing Hard Drive experience downtime Mobile Office Google Calendar Digital Signature Drones Business Cards Experience Technology Tips Windows Server 2008 Compliance PDF Online Currency Crowdfunding User Error Identities Access Control Travel Software License Windows 7 Regulations Undo Co-managed IT Multi-factor Authentication test post Motion Sickness Chromebook How To Uninterrupted Power Supply GPS Error Personal Information Cleaning Emoji Upgrades Hard Disk Drive Tracking Electronic Medical Records Computer Care 3D Printing Automobile Staffing Unsupported Software Administrator Taxes Mobile Data Corporate Profile Devices Sync Web Server WannaCry Supercomputer Mobile Device Managment Cameras IT Budget Data Backup CCTV Digital Payment G Suite Point of Sale Value Machine Learning Google Maps Unified Threat Management SaaS Cabling Meetings UTM Relocation Physical Security Software Tips Infrastructure Webcam