Does the ease of breaching IoT devices worry consumers?

Whether it’s the smart suitcase, the kitchen scale ready to show you the best recipe for dinner, surveillance cameras you can monitor on your phone or fitness trackers to check sleep quality, opportunity abounds in the IoT world.

After recent social media hacks, search engine LeakedSource has pointed out repeatedly that 55 of the most common passwords are extremely simple such as “admin”, name, or date of birth, with the most used being “123456.”

Since end-users choose weak passwords and use one for multiple accounts, they leave their entire home and work infrastructures vulnerable to cybercrime. Because they only rely on password protection, they become easy targets for hackers.

Is there a general fear of data leaks? Maybe. But from the behavior described earlier, it may not be regarded as a real problem, yet. This may be a consequence of businesses focusing more on developing IoT applications and less on security strategies, but also the absence of a networking protocol and interoperability are adding problems.

Consumers are also more than happy to give out personal information for free Wi-Fi or to connect their social media accounts to that cool application everyone is talking about.

Of course there’s the ongoing debate around big data and what ultimately happens to it. Who has access to it? Well, the providers, obviously, because we’ve already given them our permission when we connected the devices to our internet and to our smartphones.

How will the data be used? This is still controversial and a top worry for end-users. Nevertheless, the real-time information collected could also help providers make more targeted offers.

Compromised routers and wireless systems enable criminals to snoop into our personal lives, and into our businesses and community. While cities around the world have adopted IoT projects, several concerns haven’t been fully addressed.

The weak security strategy makes city infrastructure and services vulnerable to GPS spoofing and DDoS attacks, and opens payment systems to fraud, to name a few potential consequences.

Hackers are right around the corner. Due to the high number of entry points, they can easily corrupt the modular sensors used to connect devices and send out fake updates on traffic, earthquake risks or water levels in case of floods.

Just because it hasn’t happened in your neighborhood, doesn’t mean it won’t. Update software regularly, uninstall outdated plugins in your browser, generate strong passwords and never reuse them, but change once in a while, avoid connecting to free public networks and don’t click links making promises that seem too good to be true.

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