The world is becoming increasingly connected through smart gadgets and in recent years, some of these devices have evolved from an easy source of scepticism to things that are actually worth buying.
Moreover, Tech world is willing to go to make anything and everything connected ignoring privacy and hacking risks.
According to Edith Cowan University cyber security expert Paul Haskell-Dowland Voice-enabled speakers and other home devices connected to the internet do not pose a threat to privacy by themselves, but the risks are that these devices may be used as portals to personal information.
Most Voice-enabled speakers constantly record sound in the surrounding environment to refine their sensitivity to an individual’s voice and thus improve their performance in responding to verbal commands. In theory, those recordings could be retrieved by hackers and used as blackmail if they contain compromising information.
In purchasing and registering a device, an individual has likely provided their name, email address, user name and password, along with credit card details — all of which constitutes personally identifiable data.
Associate Professor Haskell-Dowland said any data about an individual has value. Although we may think that the environment in which we live, that the information that is passed around within the home environment isn’t important, it suddenly can become so. We’ve seen examples in the real estate area where photos of people’s homes have been misused by third parties.
Financial fraud due to identity theft is the main risk individual’s face when they use internet-enabled devices. The number one thing that people can do is keep an eye on their bank account transactions said Dr Hannay who studies small device data acquisition and analysis at Edith Cowan University.
You can minimise the risk of privacy breaches by reducing the number of devices that are connected to an individual’s home network.
“Almost every TV you see on the market at the moment is a smart TV, but almost nobody uses those features. They’ll plug in something else that does their Netflix, or they’ll use another device,” said Dr hannay.
“If you’re not using, or don’t plan to use those internet features, just don’t hook it into your wifi, don’t hook it up to the internet.”