Are you using a wearable fitness and personal health device to monitor your steps, heart rate, blood pressure, and other personal medical data? This new health trend has become a huge fad for people of all ages. Nearly every user understands the positive features these devices offer. Most are not aware of issues that could compromise their personal information.
On the positive side
According to Gartner, when these health sensors and data links are used, healthcare can monitor a patient's behavior and symptoms in real time and at relatively low cost, allowing physicians to better diagnose disease and to prescribe tailored treatment regimens. Obviously, it allows each individual to keep track of their personal information daily and over the course of time, too. You can choose Home – Heads Up Health for more info about personal health devices.
What are the hidden dangers?
The Symantec report states that there have already been proof-of-concept attacks on Fit bit devices and their researchers have revealed significant vulnerabilities in many devices and applications in this area. They explain that in a review of the 100 health apps in the App Store:
- 20 percent transmitted user credentials without encrypting them
- More than half (52 percent) did not have any privacy policies, and
- On average, each app contacted five Internet domains (typically a mix of advertising and analytics services).
They say the potential exposure of personal data from health-monitoring devices could have serious consequences for individuals, for example, if insurance companies started to use the data to adjust premiums if people used hacked location data to track other people without their knowledge.
What should a user do to protect personal information when using a device like this?
- There are several steps every user of these devices should do to protect their personal information and fight identity theft.
- Read their privacy policies and make sure they clearly state how your information is used and protected
- Seek programs that use encryption to protect your credentials and personal information