*** Related Article - Legally Become Invisible Click Here
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, it became painfully clear to those of us concerned about Internet-based privacy and safety that things in that realm are clearly getting worse.
One of the “highlights” of the show, but something many of us see more as a frightening development, was to learn how many previously-conventional home appliances like clothes dryers and refrigerators have become “Internetted;” called “smart” appliances, these have the ability to receive and transmit data and information to you on smartphone apps. While, on the one hand, it seems like a glorious thing to be able to control your appliances from smartphones, and to even have the appliances think for you and make adjustments based on your habitual behavior, there are extremely ominous implications of such “benefits.”
Take, for example, a “smart” bathroom scale. Seems fairly innocuous, right? You could use it to receive data that would help you more effectively track your weight and perhaps make even better food choices, but where else might that information potentially go? To your health insurer? Perhaps to an employer?
What’s more, it is not at all out of the realm of possibility that an aggressive hacker could penetrate your home network through a “smart” appliance and gain access to all that you have, including your smartphone and even a home webcam you might have set up for, ironically enough, personal protection. There have already been documented instances of baby monitors being hacked, and parents even hearing the voice of the hacker speaking to the child as they race to his side inside of their own home. Wow!
As much as the Internet offers, it may be the consummate example of the double-edged sword. It is revealing to me that although one leading security expert, Tom Kellerman, chief cybersecurity officer of Dallas software firm Trend Micro, recommends better-protecting yourself against these possible intrusions by strengthening the passwords of both your Wi-Fi router and any connected devices, his answer to defeating “smart” appliances is to simply not own any; and this is from a cybersecurity expert!
The privacy threats are real, and they are growing. To help stay safe, I regularly consult an ebook that I have found to be just great, called The Patriot Privacy Kit. It provides a wealth of useful information on how to stay safe online, including how to secure your computer hardware and software platforms, how to be a good steward of your all-important passwords, and how to use email more securely. This ebook also looks at what you need to know to be safe as a regular user of social media, including the ubiquitous Facebook, and also includes great information on how to secure your sensitive information offline (even in this “Internet age,” most ID theft still takes place that way, from the compromise of documents in a physical form). Additionally, one of the bonuses that comes with the Kit is a great, easy-to-understand guidebook to help you regain your life if your identity is stolen; called The Patriot Identity Recovery Guide, this ebook provides information that reveals how you can tell if your identity has been stolen, the steps to take if your identity has, in fact, been compromised, as well as how you can manage your liability in the wake of an identity breach – really great information.
The Patriot Privacy Kit comes with a fantastic money-back guarantee, which means you can read and use the information through and through…and if you’re still not satisfied, you can get all of your money back, with no fuss. If you want to learn more about The Patriot Privacy Kit, which I would heartily suggest in light of the ever-worrisome privacy and security climate in which we find ourselves now living, Click Here.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large