Smartwatches became popular because they can track your activities like sleeping and workouts. Besides, these devices also come in stylish features, attracting tech-savvy people. It is a smartphone extension where you can install different applications. This way, you can track your health and fitness while keeping updated with weather information and time. But if there are pros, there could also be cons in using smart wearables. Since smartwatches are connected to android and iOs mobile devices, security experts believe that smartwatches pose privacy concerns.
According to a study by HP, the data collected initially on the watches they have used for the research have passed through to an application sent to multiple backend destinations. Since third parties are involved, smartwatches present a risk that goes beyond the device themselves. If you are using a smartwatch to monitor your health or complete a financial transaction, the data transported to the device can be routed to multiple locations on the internet.
Short-Term and Long-Term Health Risks of Smartwatches
Aside from privacy concerns, smart wearables like ‘smartwatches for kids’ also present health risks. It is because smartwatches work like smartphones, wherein these devices could be carcinogenic. Meaning, a smart wearable that works like a smartphone could be as harmful as dry-cleaning chemicals and pesticides. Although the said findings pertain to cell phones, there’s a probability that they could also pertain to smartwatches.
Besides, a study published in 2007 presented the increased risk of acoustic neuroma and glioma for mobile phone users who have been using the device for more than ten years. Are smartwatches safe? Although more studies should be conducted to answer this question, users should be aware of the health risks that these devices could bring.
Is Data Transfer Between A Smartwatch and A Phone Secure?
Smartwatches don’t function on their own. They need to be connected with android or iOS mobile devices for you to enjoy the applications. You can connect your smartwatch and smartphone using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. Therefore, some people consider a smartwatch as more of an extension of a mobile device. But what concerns security experts is the data transferred between a smartwatch and a phone.
Although some brands say that data is secured, the study mentioned here shows that transferring data might involve third parties routed to multiple locations. It could pose security threats, especially if the data collected is critical. Therefore, you have to be careful when inputting data to your smartwatch, especially if you are using it for financial transactions.
Privacy Concerns With Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers
Based on a 2015 study initiated by Hewlett-Packard, there are critical security issues in smartwatches they have used in the study. The most common problem in the device is the lack of two-factor authentication. Meaning, these devices can’t lock the account after multiple failed password attempts. It may lead to a bigger problem, especially if there are tons of data transferred between your smartwatch and smartphone.
Your health data and other significant information might be accessed if more smartwatch brands don’t pay attention to user authentication. Besides, some people worry about who can get the data from the smartwatch and smartphone. Is the information only visible to the user and vendor? Or is the data transferred sold to third parties? Are smartwatches safe? These questions continue to bother people who are interested in smart wearables.
Is Wearing A Smartwatch Bad for You?
Smartwatches are useful devices because, like a smartphone, any practical applications can be integrated into them. Some smartwatches can track your sleep hours and assess your sleep quality. Other smart wearables can be used for monitoring the progress of your workouts. Smartwatches are truly amazing in the way that they can help you monitor your performance. They also allow you to do other activities like checking your social media notifications, sending text messages, and calling your loved ones. There are some smartwatches that comes with ‘GPS trackers for kids’ to secure your child’s location.
Smart wearables offer a lot of benefits, but are smartwatches safe? More studies are being conducted to provide concrete answers. Although the studies mentioned here have demonstrated security threats, it doesn’t mean that all smartwatches sold in the market today present the same problems. Therefore, you have to be selective when purchasing a smartwatch to ensure that your data is secure.