Data Privacy in the Digital Age: Navigating Technology

IoT is used to connect with various devices such as smart home device and wearable device. With the advancement of technology in digital era, IoT grows even larger. Each day more and more new devices are used. However, this new trend also come with risk of data privacy issues.

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What is IoT?

IoT is networks which consist of physical objects equipped with software, sensors and technologies that allows them to exchange their data to other objects or system by connecting it through the internet. 

IoT Advantages

  • Efficiency
    By using the IoT you can increase the resource utilization and monitoring to be more efficient. 
  • Automation
    Since IoT are able to communicate and interact with other device without any human interaction this means IoT offers automation that can help to minimize efforts from human.
  • Time saving
    Since IoT can do their function automatically, this means it can be used to save our time. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why people love to use IoT system.

Security and Privacy Problem of IoT

Like anything that connected to the internet, IoT also have risk of being attack by hackers. Furthermore, IoT is known to be a difficult device to secure which means they are known to be vulnerable device that can be used by hackers to enter the system. Here are some of the security problems that IoT have to face:

  • Complex Ecosystem
    Since IoT actually consist of a lot of devices then it became a more complex ecosystem compared to other. Furthermore, there are various components used in this ecosystem from the network, the sensors, the technology as well as the regulation. This makes it privacy and security become more challenging things to do as there are a lot of things that need to be covered.
  • Device’s limited capacities
    A lot of devices used as IoT has limited capacities in memory, processing and power. That is why, they often do not have advanced security that they need since they want to save the capacities to prioritize the other function of the device. However, this also mean they have bigger risk of getting attack because the lack of security features.
  • Big data
    You should know that your smart home devices can generate a lot of data. According to FTC report less than 10,000 IoT devices are able to generate around 150 data points daily. This means there are more and more entry points that the attackers can use every day which can cause IoT privacy problem.
  • Limited experience
    IoT is a new technology so there are not many previous threats background that we know about this technology. Furthermore, there is not much cybersecurity experts who specialized for IoT security. With limited experience, securing IoT become a more challenging thing that cybersecurity expert need to do.
  • Attack threats
    IoT can be attack using malware that will make the device perform various action without consents from the users. This can cause damage as well as allowing the attacker to take data from the ecosystem. 
  • IoT privacy
    A lot of IoT manufacturers want to be in front of the line to launch new smart home device and wearable device to the market. However, with doing so they sometimes do not apply enough security measurement into the device. Thus, it can create IoT privacy issue for whoever use the device.
  • Cost reducing
    A lot of IoT manufacturers want to reduce cost by limiting investment on the IoT security. So, the device cannot provide enough IoT privacy protection which means the device will have a security risk that will affect the users.
  • Unclear responsibilities
    When it comes to IoT privacy and security there are a few parties involved which are the manufacturer of the device, the service provider as well as the user of the device. Thus, when cyber attack happened the responsibilities of each parties are unclear which may cause conflicts between parties. 
  • Unclear data processing
    One of the biggest problems about IoT privacy is that often the users themselves are unaware about the data that they transfer using sensor devices and of how their data is used. 
    This is often happened because the consent is done poorly since they do not really specify how the personal information is handled. This means the users personal information can be transferred to third party when the users themselves are unaware of this problem.
  • Efficiency vs safety
    IoT are manufactured in high speed which may limit the security information implement into the devices. Furthermore, the low budget for security implementation may also have impact on this matter. This is because the company choose to prioritized manufacturing efficiency than IoT privacy security.
  • Anonymity limitation
    Because of unclear data processing most users usually assume that anonymity is something that guaranteed by all IoT device that they use. But it is actually not true which means anonymity on IoT device is very limited.

Things That You Can Do to Improve IoT Privacy and Security

Customized Your Router

One smart home privacy effort that you can do is to customized your router. When you first install the device, it usually has default device name which can give away information such as the model number, the manufacturer and many other. 

That information can be used by hackers to find information about the firmware as well as known vulnerabilities in the device. That is why you must customize your router setting and give it a new device name so it will be difficult to find information about the router. 

Use encryption on your network

Usually the router that you use already have native encryption such as WPA2 that can be used to encrypt the network. Although it is not the best security method, it is still better to activate this encryption. 

If you want to fully protect all of the device that you use, then you can try to use VPN software when connecting to the network. There is also VPN router that already equipped with VPN to create secure access.

Change default credential

A lot of wearable device and smart home device that connected to IoT have default credentials such as password and username that the manufacturer put inside. These default credentials are already known and widely spread to hackers. 

That is why, it is important for you to change the default credentials into a new credential that is more unique to prevent hackers from getting into the network through one of the devices easily. 

Use unique and strong password

When you change your device credential it is important to also use unique and strong password. Do not use simple password since attackers can apply force brute method to break into the device.

This password can be your protection which is essential for your smart home privacy security. For wearable device that requires you to input the password often you can try to use complex password that is still easy so you can remember it easily. 

Activate the security setting

A lot of wearable device have security and privacy setting but they are usually not activated. So, to increase your wearable device privacy, you need to activate the security setting yourself. 

To increase the IoT privacy you also need to disable personalized ads as well as any settings that you can opt-out without disturbing the functionality of the device. It is always best to limit data send by your device to manufacturer to help increase your smart home privacy.

Update the software

Sometimes you will see that your smart home and wearable device gets a software update. This thing is very rare so usually the update contains very important improvement such as security patch.

That is why, it is important for you to update the software as soon as it becomes available. Usually most smart home device does not have automatic update so you need to update them manually. You can do it by checking the manufacturer official website and download the update there.

Use 2FA

To help prevent access from unauthorized person into your IoT devices you need to use 2FA. That way, whenever you need to login into the devices you need to use access code that will be sent directly to your phone. This can be the last layer of protection which especially useful when the attacker able to get your login credentials. 

Do not use public network

Public network is unsecured and often become a way for attackers to get information that your device sends through the network. So, do not connect your wearable device into any public Wi-Fi. If you really need to use the device then it is better to connect them into a hotspot that you get from your own phone. 

Read More What Is Pentest (Penetration Testing)?


IoT is something that we cannot avoid especially with the popularity of smart home and wearable device that many manufacturers produce right now. However, a lot of those manufacturers does not prioritize IoT privacy which can be a problem for you as the users.

This is the reason why you need to take the smart home privacy matters into your own hand. There are a few things that you can do to increase wearable device privacy so you need to implement them as soon as possible.

Tags: IoT privacy, smart home privacy, wearable device privacy, IoT security, data privacy,