HealthIs your fitness tracker putting your privacy at risk?

Is your fitness tracker putting your privacy at risk?

Is your fitness tracker putting your privacy at risk?

The growing popularity of fitness trackers, wearables and internet-enabled devices means you can automatically share your running stats from that 5K sprint on social media and adjust your thermostat from anywhere using your smartphone. But these convenient new technologies can provide an easily accessible way for attackers to intercept your personal data.

You can still enjoy the benefits of smart devices, smart homes and smart cars, and even connected healthcare devices; just be sure to do so in safe and secure ways. Since many of these devices connect to the internet through your home network, here are some simple steps that you can take to help keep it and your other devices secure:

Create a strong password. Always follow guidelines for establishing strong passwords, like using a combination of at least eight characters. Your router's administrator password should be different from the one you use to access your network. Information on how to change your router's administrator password can usually be obtained from the manufacturer of your router or your internet service provider.

Choose a secure name. Consider changing your Wi-Fi network's default name. Don't use anything that could be associated with your name, address or phone number.

Change the default setting. Make sure that you change the default name and password on your new smart device to a unique name and strong password. Default names and passwords could be easily hacked.

Stay up-to-date. Ensure that every device on your network, including your router, is kept up-to-date to keep your entire network protected. Install updates to your operating system, apps and antivirus and firewall software as soon as they become available and select auto-updates if available.

Safeguard your info. Be careful what kind of information your smart devices are storing and sending, and how secure it is. Personal details like what time you and your family usually leave the house in the morning, health history and financial information could be valuable to cyber criminals and should be kept safe. Ultimately, information being transmitted over Wi-Fi is vulnerable to being stolen.

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