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Privacy issues with IOT devices

Eliza Anton

Safeguarding Against IoT Security Risks: A Call to Action for Consumers and Businesses

In today's digital era, the presence of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has become a huge part of our daily life, extending from children's toys to home entertainment systems, streetlights, and even automobiles. While these devices enhance functionality and personalization by collecting and transmitting data, the vast amount of personal and sensitive information they handle poses significant security concerns. This article delves into the potential security threats associated with IoT devices, offering insights on privacy issues and providing actionable steps for individuals to protect themselves.


Privacy Concerns and Potential Threats


The data collected by IoT devices, ranging from daily routines to health status, can be exploited if it falls into the wrong hands. Compromised devices may grant attackers access to sensitive information, leading to privacy breaches. Devices equipped with cameras and microphones raise additional concerns, as they can be manipulated for unauthorized surveillance and data collection.


As the number of connected devices continues to surge, ensuring their security becomes increasingly challenging. Both individuals and businesses must adopt measures to fortify the security of IoT devices and prevent privacy vulnerabilities.


Addressing Privacy Concerns as a Consumer


Consumers can take proactive steps to protect themselves from potential threats associated with IoT devices:


Disable Microphone and Camera: Turn off the microphone and camera functions when not in use to prevent unauthorized audio and video recording.

Review and Manage History: Regularly review and manage the device's history to monitor data usage and potential security incidents.

Secure Online Accounts: Strengthen the security of online accounts connected to IoT devices, utilizing two-factor authentication when available.

Customize Wake Word: Change the default "wake word" on devices like Google Home and Echo to enhance security.

Enable Purchase Locks: Activate purchase locks on devices like Alexa and Siri, especially when they are directly linked to online stores.

Read EULAs and Privacy Statements: Familiarize yourself with End User License Agreements and privacy statements, utilizing opt-out options to control data usage.

Accountability for Businesses


Manufacturers of IoT and digital assistant devices play a crucial role in addressing security concerns. Businesses should:


Prioritize Security in Design: Emphasize the design and production of safe, secure, and trustworthy products with a focus on security features.

Regular Software Updates: Bridge the gap between consumer expectations and device capabilities by providing regular software updates, ensuring devices are protected against vulnerabilities.

Transparency on Data Usage: Be transparent with consumers about how data is utilized and sold to other companies, establishing trust and accountability.

Government Regulations: Advocate for and adhere to government regulations that protect consumer data, treating it as a valuable commodity.

A Closer Look at IoT Security


 As IoT and digital assistants gain popularity, security and privacy issues persist. Consumers must remain vigilant, taking proactive measures to safeguard themselves and their families. Simultaneously, businesses must prioritize security in product design and operations, working towards regulatory compliance and transparency. In this evolving landscape, the responsibility to mitigate IoT security risks falls on both individual users and the businesses shaping the technology of tomorrow.



 Milley, Peter. “Privacy and the Internet of Things.” The SANS Institute, October 21, 2017.


Sivaraman, V., et al. “Smart IoT Devices in the Home: Security and Privacy Implications.” Technology and Society Magazine, vol. 37, no. 2, June 2018, pp. 71–79.

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