Smartwatches are becoming some of the most popular gates to data breaches these days. That doesn’t stop more and more people from purchasing them, but it does raise concern in both consumers and tech developers.

 

Check out some of the most alarming data security threats, and what you can do to avoid them.

 

What Are the Most Common Smartwatch Data Breach Concerns?

 

If a cybercriminal gains access to your smartphone, they could easily access your smartwatch, and start tracking accelerometer data.

 

This would enable them to discover your usernames and passwords, thanks to the accelerometer sensor that records your movements. They could also discover your banking details if you conduct any online transactions.

 

Someone could even steal your fitness data to send it to unethical health insurance providers. They could then assess your health risks and significantly increase your premiums.

 

How Can You Protect Your Smartwatch from a Data Breach?

 

You can protect your wearable from potential data breaches very easily. Just take the following steps.

 

Monitor Your Data Traffic and Battery Usage

 

If someone gains access to your smartwatch, your battery usage and traffic would greatly increase. This is how you can detect a potential data breach, so be on the lookout.

 

If this happens, disconnect your wearable from the internet right away, and immediately change all your passwords.

 

Keep Your Smartwatch Software Up-to-Date

 

Updating your smartwatch software regularly will help you protect its system, and your smartphone and data.

 

Updates are partly about fixing various bugs that affect the functionality and performance of your smartwatch. However, they’re also about addressing any security vulnerabilities, so that there are no holes for hackers to crawl in.

 

Stick to Apps from Official Stores

 

When installing apps on both your smartwatch and your smartphone, make sure you install only those from official app stores – Google Play (Android) and App Store (iOS).

 

You should also be very careful about granting permissions to all the apps you use. For instance, if cybercriminals have access to your location data, they could easily determine whether or not it’s your smartwatch they are trying to hack.

 

Limit the Fitness Data You Share

 

To prevent a third party from selling your fitness information to a health insurance company, be sure to check your security settings, and limit what you share publicly. You also might not want to use your real name as your username, just to be sure that no one could trace your fitness data back to you.

 

Connect Your Smartwatch to a Guest WiFi Network

 

This is especially important if you wear your smartwatch to work. If a cybercriminal hacks your wearable, they could gain access to your workplace’s entire network.

 

This is why there should be a guest WiFi network in your workplace, and you should never connect your wearable to the main network.

 

The same goes for your home. Set up a guest WiFi and make sure everyone visiting you connects only to that network. That way, all your devices, and your data will be perfectly safe and secure.

 

Hide Your IP Address

 

Almost every smartwatch user is wondering, “How can I hide my IP address?” There are three effective ways to do it.

 

You can use the Tor browser, which uses advanced encryption and allows you to surf the internet anonymously.

 

You can also use a proxy server, which redirects your connection through several servers when performing your requests. It’s an intermediary (acting as a firewall) between your system or browser, and the resource you want to access.

 

The best way to hide your IP is to use a VPN. A Virtual Private Network will assign you a fake IP (an IP of one of its remote servers) and make you completely invisible online. No one will be able to intercept your data transmission and monitor your online activity.

 

This means that no one will be able to discover your usernames, passwords, and other sensitive data, and target you for their criminal gain.

 

You’ll also be able to safely connect to any public WiFi because your VPN will encrypt it.

 

There are a lot more benefits of using a VPN that you should consider, such as bypassing geo-restrictions and speeding up your connection. You should seriously think about getting one.

 

Smartwatch developers should work on improving the security of their wearables, but there’s a lot you can do on your own. Take all the aforementioned steps, and you’ll avoid any potential data breach.

Published by john paret