We are living in a time where new innovations are born at every corner. From new smartphones and apps to smart devices, the world is rapidly moving towards interactive and autonomous technologies everyday. And whether we like to admit it or not, the majority of us are guilty of spending too much time using them. While that is not a crime, it does entail some consequences most of us are either unaware of or simply decided to overlook. Because with smart devices comes the risk of losing our privacy.
Technology can make our life easier and more convenient, however, it is still important to shed light on its downside. Many of the devices we use, such as our smartphones or smart home appliances, are all connected together and with so much of your data being shared among devices comes data vulnerability. For instance, smart gadgets such as Alexa and Google Home record what you are saying long after they have done what you asked. In fact, it is reported that such devices are used as a way to learn more about customers and know what to sell them.
It is instrumental to mention that the more permissions you give to certain applications on your smart devices, the more you are at risk of having your privacy breached. After all, this is how targeted ads work. Your device hears or sees what you are talking about or looking for and starts to show you relevant things. The point is, the more advanced the technologies become, the more they can hear and decipher what we say. But is there a way to stop our smart devices from spying on us?
The answer is yes! Here is how:
1. Stopping voice assistants can be a great start in order to ensure that they will no longer be able to hear anything you say. Whether you are using Alexa, Google Assistant/Home, Bixby, Siri or Cortana, there is a way to be able to stop them from hearing everything you say. And the way to do that is quite simple! All you have to do is go to settings, privacy and ensure that your microphone switch is toggled off.
2. For smart home gadgets such as Alexa, you should either opt to turning it off when you are not using it or simply deleting your data every once in a while
3. Disabling location, microphone and camera access from some applications, or at least when you are not using them. Mobile apps ask for permission to access your location, camera/photos and microphones, and disabling them whenever you are not using them can be a good way to make sure applications are not collecting your data.
4. Turn off your Wi-Fi when you are out of the house or you are not using. Because with so much of your home being connected can allow cybercriminals to hack your devices.
5. Make sure you are using a secure Wi-Fi router
When it comes to protecting our privacy, it is necessary to adopt proactive cybersecurity measures. Technology can be appealing, but you have to ask yourself whether or not it is worth compromising your privacy for. There is no right or wrong answer here, it all goes back to what works for you.
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