Symantec Security Response prepared a report on wearable fitness devices and found vulnerabilities with the devices and the model of data custodianship.
It wasn’t that long ago that your best way of tracking your activity might be an old-fashioned pedometer that mechanically incremented with each step. The next step was heart rate monitors, GPS watches, and smartphones that have tons of sensors to gather additional and more interesting data. All of these sensors help provide the device with more insight into what you’re actually doing and how your activity is improving your health.
The trend of self tracking is most likely here to stay and will even increase as the wearable technology industry continues to accelerate. The amount of data collected is extensive and requires trusting third parties with information that used to be only disclosed to a doctor. The convenient packaging of all of that data and with people wearing sensors that allow them to be tracked can certainly create some security and privacy concerns as you increase your risk of identity theft, profiling, stalking, or corporate misuse.
Symantec’s introduction of the report provided four take-aways to improve your security and privacy while using fitness tracking devices and apps.
- In order to thwart location stalkers when you’re using a wearable device, make sure that you do not include any personally identifiable information, such as your own name. Think of an alias that motivates you. “HalfTigerHalfUnicorn” is a lot more fun than “Sue Smith” anyway, right?
- Mitigate the risk of your password being compromised by choosing a complex password unique for this service.
- While using a mobile phone or tablet, be sure to download Norton Mobile Security to secure your device against mobile threats, and detect apps that share your data with third parties.
You can view the Symantec Security Response about your quantified self (PDF) from the Symantec Security Response blog to read the full details from the report.