You are familiar with smartwatches, you know, the sleek watches with an operating system and small computer that you wear on your wrist. You’ve undoubtedly seen many James Bond films and might guess how smartwatches can be hacked and used to spy on others. But you probably assumed it could only happen in movies, right?
Smartwatches can be hacked. Hackers can access your watch data through Bluetooth or your smartphone and see your location, habits, activities, passwords, etc. Ways to prevent this are refusing unidentified permissions, ensuring your Wi-Fi is secure, and updating apps and software regularly.
If you’re still not convinced, read on to see how a smartwatch may be hacked and used to spy on you. We’ll also demonstrate the kind of data that your smartwatch can collect. But don’t worry, we’ll teach you how to keep your smartwatch from being used to spy on you.
Can A Smartwatch Be Hacked?
Even though most manufacturers now provide security options to help ensure that your smartwatch will not be hacked, it is still insufficient. There is not enough consumer protection and several flaws in your smartwatch that could make it easy to hack. They are considered the weakest link out of all your devices.
Smartwatches are likely to collect a lot of data. This data will be transmitted via the internet or Bluetooth. Credit card transactions, daily schedules, and GPS positions are all examples of sensitive information. Your smartwatch can be hacked if the firm where that information is stored is compromised.
Can a Hacked Smartwatch Spy on You?
The short answer is that yes, your smartwatch can be hacked. Hackers can install malware through Bluetooth, which your smartwatch is connected to. If you use apps to make payments, like ApplePay on an Apple smartwatch, hackers can access your bank and credit card information.
And given that you’re likely to wear your watch all day, a hacker can figure out what you’re up to through your location and heart rate.
There has also been the discovery of an undocumented backdoor, which may be used to wiretap phone calls and access a camera that can track your exact location. So, there’s a chance they can listen intently to everything you’re saying. If you’re thinking about getting your kids smartwatches, it may not be the best idea for this reason.
However, smartwatch hacking is very uncommon – what’s more likely to happen is your smartphone being hacked, which your smartwatch is connected to. Because they are connected, your data can be accessed that way as well, so also keep in mind to protect yourself from smartphone hacking.
What Data Do Smartwatches Collect?
Unfortunately, a device that may be beneficial to you is now being used against you. Keep in mind that you can utilize your smartwatch in a variety of ways. You should be aware that data is collected every time you use a smartwatch to do an activity.
Let’s look at the kind of information your smartwatch can collect.
- It could be able to pick up on some of your habits, such as when and how long you’re usually on the go.
- It tracks your location, the number of steps you take, your heart rate, and the fine movements of your hand.
- It has your credit card information, which skilled hackers can obtain.
How is your smartwatch used to collect the data?
Your smartwatch is undoubtedly one of your favorite devices since it can do so many things. To make/receive calls and send text messages, you can use your smartwatch instead of your phone. Other capabilities that your smartwatch can assist you with include sleep monitoring and fitness tracking.
Smartwatches have built-in acceleration sensors (accelerometers) and rotation sensors (gyroscopes) to accomplish this.
Accelerometers are used to track the variations in your arm’s movement over time. Gyroscopes can assist you in counting steps and determining your current location. As a result, you can see how a smartwatch can be used to tell where you are, when you’re moving, and how long you’ve been moving.
How To Prevent Your Smartwatch From Spying On You
The fact that your smartwatch can be used to spy on you does not mean you should discard it or refuse to buy one. You can do a few things to make sure your smartwatch isn’t being used to spy on you.
Refuse unidentified permissions. When you receive notifications from the app, such as seeking permission to send geolocation or retrieve user account information, refuse unrecognized permissions. You should be aware that someone is attempting to hack into your smartwatch. Refuse to let them go any further.
Fast Battery Consumption
Notice when the battery dries up too fast. You may notice that the battery on your smartwatch is draining too quickly. This could indicate that the smartwatch is connected to another device or that you have too many apps installed.
It’s possible that applications are being used to spy on you. The best you can do is to delete or uninstall any apps you don’t use regularly.
Avoid Open WiFi
Ensure your WiFi is secure. An open wireless network can be hazardous because anyone can monitor your internet activities.
When conducting sensitive online transactions, the safest option is to use your mobile network or a VPN. Because a private encrypted channel is used by both the mobile network and the VPN, if someone is watching your traffic, they won’t be able to see what you’re up to.
Update Apps and Software
Keep your apps and smartwatch software updated. Make sure that you continually update your apps and software whenever new updates are available. These updates contain more protections for your smartwatch to prevent hacking. When you update your apps and software regularly you are keeping up with the latest protections.
At this point, you must be wondering whether buying a smartwatch or keeping the one you already have is a good idea after all. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, go ahead and purchase, but make sure you understand how to protect yourself against hacking.