You exit your car and proceed to your porch, where you open-close-lock the front door without skipping a beat. You sigh, relieved, knowing that you’re safe at home. But… are you, really?
Often, we only consider the threat we can see… the armed robber, the stampeding rhino, or the falling bookcase. Very rarely do we consider the fact that we may be inviting danger into our homes with every swipe, search and purchase.
Smart devices have taken the world by storm, with about 258 million households a self-proclaimed “smart” household (Dataconomy). It’s unfortunate to note that roughly 40.8% of those households are vulnerable to cyber-attacks (Dataconomy). But with smart devices being such a profitable, large-scale industry, why is that?
Cyber security has not kept up with the rate of consumption. Many cameras, devices and pieces of technology are vulnerable to third party hackers and security breaches. But if this is the case, why do many insurance companies offer discounts for smart security devices?
Consider voice assistants, like Amazon, Apple, and Google. These devices passively listen into what you’re talking about even when you don’t give permission (Adeya). If in the wrong hands, these intimate conversations and intel could be used to exploit you, almost like spyware.
Maybe that is a risk you’re willing to take. But consider all the other technological facets that are vulnerable. Automated locks with fobs — an apartment staple — are a good example of something you may not want someone else having control over.
So you’re not concerned about burglaries, or are worried that someone may eavesdrop your 800th phone discussion about breaking up with Brad, but what if it didn’t stop there?
Identity theft can leave you in debt and destitute. Or even imagine what the price of intimate photos could cost on the black market. The examples go on, for individuals and corporations alike.
Are we doomed to a life without data security floaties, or is there hope?
Small changes can make a huge impact. Strong passwords, for one. IoT inspectors and security software, for another. Neither of these are foolproof, but they’re ways to try to safeguard your smart devices for the interim.
The perception of safety is not the same thing as actually being safe.
Should buyers continue to be cavalier about their smart devices, the demand to troubleshoot these cyber security shortcomings will remain lackluster. As a consumer, we hold the purse strings. We set the precedent for what we are willing to accept from our technology companies.
Sure, in a more primitive life, you’d be protecting your family from a ravenous bear, but in 2021 it’s more important than ever to protect your family from the threat you don’t see.
Pressure will facilitate change, so hit them where it hurts.
It is on us to buy wisely, reviews, and treat our devices with the same respect and concern of a deadly weapon… Only then, can we drive demand for a cyber secure world.