Friday, January 22, 2016

Watch Your Watch by Mickey Forgione

So, the Apple Watch has been out for a while now, and this article will talk about the risks it and similar products pose. Everyone probably knows that there is no way to truly protect yourself from hackers, any clever computer jockey with the right programs can jaunt past a firewall or two. The Apple Watch however, just provides even more personal information about its owner. You might ask, “Well, what could it possibly have that my laptop or phone doesn't?” The answer would be a lot of medical information you might want to keep private. For example, the Apple Watch (and other similar products) track such things as your heart rate, location, how far you have moved, and can track a variety of other things like certain potentially embarrassing medical conditions. Now, you also might wonder, “How is my heart rate going to be embarrassing?” or “My phone tracks my location anyway. Who cares?” As for the heart rate, it can reveal things like cardiac arrythmia to anyone who cares to look at that data stream. This means that if a thief who has hacked your Apple Watch plans to rob you, they can find out if you have a medical condition that can trigger fainting (cardiac arrythmia) or other episodes during which you would be vulnerable. From then on, its just a matter of time. As a matter of fact, the thief wouldn't even need to know who you are or where you live. He or she only needs to be nearby your device to gain access.
Now that I have spelled out a horror tale of being robbed because of your heart rate being recorded, I will explain the main way to stop most hackers from getting in. First, however, I wish to make it clear that there always people looking to either steal personal information or use your device for other purposes. As I stated before, you cannot prevent yourself from ever being hacked, but you can prevent most attacks from happening with a simple password of at least 8 characters, preferably a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. So, password protecting your Apple Watch or other device is essential to remaining safe, but a better option is to simply not buy one.

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