crn5000-inc2015 BPTW logo
Contact us today!
(918) 770-8738

Integrated Business Technologies Blog

Integrated Business Technologies has been serving the Broken Arrow area since 2007, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Are You Accidentally Gifting a Security Breach?

The holidays are a time filled with good food, visits from dear friends and family, and exchanging gifts with those you care about. However, to keep the season bright and merry, you need to be a little cautious during your next gift exchange, as many gifts can present some unexpected risks to your recipient’s security. Be mindful if you see the following items on someone’s wish list.

Digital Assistants and Smart Home Hubs
These little devices have made a splash as a useful household appliance, answering a user’s questions and controlling their various media. However, these nifty gizmos are always listening--literally. These devices rely on microphones that automatically activate, meaning that they hear everything you have to say. Imagine what a cybercriminal could do with the information they extract from them.

What’s worse, many of these devices now also come equipped with cameras, allowing a cybercriminal to effectively invade your privacy from anywhere.

While it may be a neat idea to take control of one’s environment through technology, it provides cybercriminals with the opportunity to take advantage of these devices as they victimize you, along with your family or staff. These devices can be used to spy on you and collect enough information to piece together your daily routine--invaluable intel for the criminal class. It’s important to keep this in mind if you are purchasing these devices for young children. Although Google and Amazon want to be on top of their security, it’s important to consider the lack of security awareness kids might have.

Connected Toys
While many of these devices may seem like they appeal to an older demographic, there are plenty of toys and games for children that are getting smarter. This also increases their creepiness factor, as hackers could use some toys--such as a Toymail Talkie--to communicate directly with children. Other connected playthings could provide hackers with details about a child’s life that are far too intimate. Edwin the Duck, a connected bath toy, could be used to extrapolate how often a child is bathed and when they are put to bed.

Smart Appliances
Of course, adults can have toys of their own in the form of appliances, and they are more and more frequently being built with smart capabilities included. We’re talking about wearables like fitness trackers and Internet of Things devices. Basically anything that connects to the Internet that isn’t a traditional computer or laptop would fall into this category. What isn’t always included is any sufficient security to keep these appliances from being made a part of a botnet. Furthermore, like digital assistants, these devices can easily collect data based on the activity around them.

DNA Testing Kits
This one may come as a surprise to many, but those kits that you send away with a vial of your spit may be the next major cause of privacy issues. After all, the product itself requires the most unique piece of personally identifiable information you have: your DNA. This specific data can quickly become valuable, especially for research purposes.

The agreements that you have to sign in order to use these services often have terms that grant the company permission to do as they will with your genetic data--which includes sharing a digitized version of this data with those who are willing to pay. While the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 forbids the use of genetic data as a justification for discrimination-or firing someone because they have a predisposition to a condition-this kind of discrimination would be awfully hard to prove.

While the holidays should be a time of happiness, few things can put a damper on that happiness quicker than a security breach of your data. Mozilla has helpfully created a list of potentially risky products for consumers to reference as they do their holiday shopping.

So, what do you think? Is getting a good deal on an item for someone special worth risking a data breach? Let us know in the comments!



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Friday, 19 January 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Free Consultation

      Sign up today for a
      FREE Network Consultation

      How secure is your IT infrastructure?
      Let us evaluate it for free!

      Sign up Now!


      Tag Cloud

      Security Technology Tip of the Week Privacy Business Management Managed Service Provider Internet Microsoft Saving Money Cloud Productivity Business Computing Workplace Tips IT Services Best Practices Backup Hackers Hosted Solutions IT Support Business Malware Mobile Devices Email Small Business Network Hardware Software Smartphones Data Communication Server Upgrade Windows Business Continuity Mobile Device Management VoIP Microsoft Office Virtualization Efficiency Disaster Recovery Google Computer Miscellaneous Mobile Office Holiday Vendor Management Gadgets Social Media Android Quick Tips Innovation Smartphone Windows 10 BYOD User Tips Mobile Computing WiFi Passwords Remote Monitoring Browser Outsourced IT Best Practice Bring Your Own Device Wireless Technology Internet of Things The Internet of Things Trending Operating System Apple Users Spam Remote Computing History Alert Going Green Managed IT services Network Security Firewall Content Filtering Managed IT Unified Threat Management Data Backup Big Data Printer Office Analytics Data Management IT Solutions Lithium-ion Battery Save Money Information Technology Current Events IT Consultant Hard Drives App Artificial Intelligence Customer Relationship Management Gmail Windows 8 Tech Support Humor Facebook Saving Time Avoiding Downtime Ransomware Maintenance IT service Digital Payment Outlook Health Business Growth Risk Management Employer-Employee Relationship Marketing Customer Service Hacking Excel Computers Phone System Collaboration Two-factor Authentication Encryption Apps Automation Application Office Tips Virus Antivirus Retail Phishing Fax Server Data Recovery Co-Managed IT Mobile Device VPN PowerPoint Cybersecurity Tablet Office 365 Router Inbound Marketing iPhone Password Administration Presentation Budget Training Computer Repair Proactive IT Recovery Mouse Money Net Neutrality Running Cable Social User Error Settings Hosted Solution Licensing IBM Chrome Wireless Data storage Cybercrime File Sharing Save Time Social Networking Wi-Fi Robot Unified Communications Hiring/Firing Alerts Mobility Printing Display Redundancy End of Support Government LiFi Website Computing Statistics Project Management Scam Intranet Competition Business Intelligence Files Network Congestion Downtime Data Security Augmented Reality Managed IT Services Search Virtual Desktop USB Piracy Business Owner Applications Sports Hacker User Point of Sale Programming Analyitcs Tip of the week Bandwidth Education Help Desk Document Management Specifications Safety Flexibility Technology Laws Comparison Travel Blockchain Cost Management Bitcoin Digital Signature Memory Vulnerability Laptop communications Unified Threat Management Permissions Hacks Wearable Technology Documents Conferencing Virtual Private Network Halloween SaaS Black Friday Entrepreneur Adminstration Access Control 3D PC Care Fraud Undo PDF Value People 5G Scary Stories Cyber Monday eBay SharePoint Remote Support Leadership Software Tips Internet Exlporer Skype Streaming Media New Additions Monitors Telephony Smart Technology Deep Learning Print Server Text Messaging Downloads Work Station Mobile Security Domains Google Wallet LinkedIn Scheduling Congratulations Networking Fun Writing Distributed Denial of Service Word Law Firm IT Video Surveillance Multi-Factor Security Recycling IT Support Hotspot Public Speaking Drones Windows 8.1 Update Best Available eWaste Buisness Cortana Social Engineering Private Cloud Managed IT Service Identities Google Calendar Language Backups Environment CIO Techology Knowledge Public Cloud Break Fix Solid State Drive Bluetooth Legislation Samsung Data loss Computing Infrastructure Legal Online Currency Troubleshooting Debate Disaster Resistance Experience Compliance Sync Dark Web Heating/Cooling Alt Codes Computer Accessories Crowdfunding Macro Windows 10 Consumers Regulations YouTube IT Consulting Software as a Service Mobile Device Managment Data Warehousing Typing Company Culture Twitter IP Address Google Drive How To Data Breach Touchscreen Technology Tips Productivity Microsoft Excel Refrigeration Cryptocurrency Disaster Gaming Console Google Docs

      Top Blog

      Basically, any machine that uses fans and vents to cool itself can overheat if airflow is restricted. If you have used a laptop on your lap for an extended session, then you know what we are talking about when the computer becomes hot to the touch. Every portable device is designed a little diffe...