Smart homes are not so smart when it comes to protecting privacy. WhatsApp gets hacked by Israeli spies. Intel notifies customers about security flaws with chip. New regulations hint companies toward having better data management. Australian data breach affects 10 million civilians.
Smart Homes: Not so Smart
Smart homes definitely reduce effort and make life easier, but it comes at a cost. You and your family’s privacy is put at risk because of the trade-off between productivity and safety.
One of the most popular forms of a smart home is the digital assistant. Google Home and Alexa are the major players in this area. These devices are continuously listening for “activation” words or phrases and thus, your entire conversation history is saved in their server. As a result, many scary and embarrassing stories have surfaced, and yes, even from Amazon and Google products.
If consumers do their part and take the necessary security steps, they should be able to enjoy the benefits of their smart home without paying a price. Here are some ways you can secure your smart home:
- Review and delete your voice history from time to time.
- Secure your network.
- Change your wake or activation word or phrase.
- Delete old recordings.
- Strengthen your passwords.
WhatsApp Gets Hacked
WhatsApp, an app used by millions of people worldwide, has been compromised. On Tuesday, an Israeli spy firm injected malware into targeted phones to steal data, by simply placing a call. Recipients did not even need to answer the call. What’s worse, the call could not be traced in the log. The company states that only a select few have been affected, as they don’t know the exact number.
Intel Chip Suffers Security Flaws
In other news, Intel, also known as the worldwide computer chip maker, has just notified the world about a security flaw that can essentially prove to be harmful to millions of PCs. Attackers are able to get their hands on any data that a victim’s processor touches. Not scary at all.
New Regulations Call for Better Data Management
Every company we interact with uses our data-from The Weather Network to IBM. “The companies used the data to calibrate advertising campaigns to potential customers’ preferences, a type of personalization 90 percent of consumers say they find appealing,” says, Eric Archer-Smith, from BETA News. Although it helps with preferences and marketing, if found in the wrong hands, it could prove to be dangerous. Thus, companies today must find the perfect balance between personalization and privacy when collecting consumer data for analysis.
Australian Data Breach Affects 10 Million Civilians
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) recently reported over 10 million people were hit in a single Australian data breach. Although the report did not specify the origin of the breach that affected these people, the breach was disclosed to be between January 1, 2019, and March 31, 2019. Furthermore, private health was yet again the most affected sector.