Nowadays, we are surrounded by so many smart devices at a time that one could easily say that we are in a new age of extremely-qualified, intelligent, self-learning, high-degree tech.
I mean, who would have thought that we could have wristbands one day with heart rate monitoring sensors, or smartphones that could pretty much everything that a dozen other electronics would do a few years ago?
But guess what’s not the silver lining in all of this; our reliance on these gadgets for our every move. It’s an appalling issue that most of us hardly acknowledge.
But the problem, particularly, with these smart devices is that they are smart but vulnerable.
Most of these devices have AI learning now which makes them highly-advanced, too. And that all comes its own downsides, like the tendency of getting abused for nefarious tasks by entities with insidious agendas.
For instance, experts have demonstrated how our cars can be hijacked remotely and how even the medical devices in our body can be turned into lethal weapons.
Tech experts are addressing these issues and there is a great deal of work going on to contain their proliferation on a mass scale.
But from the consumer end, the dangers pertaining to smart devices are getting far less of our attention than they deserve.
Your smart devices are easily prone to hacking and spying and you should know that because each one of us is surrounded by at least some kind of tech.
Gadgets are part of our needs now and we can’t deny that! But what we can do is to be careful and reduce the amount of collateral damage that technology is sending our way.
Below are some of the ways your smart tech could spy on you.
Every laptop has a camera built into it. When this camera starts recording, a green light blinks so that you know that you are being recorded. But that camera can be instructed to record your activities without turning on the green camera light. It is not a hypothetical danger anymore as it can be done today through different apps.
The best would be to turn off your laptop when you are not using it. And while using, cover the camera with a tape.
While turning off the laptop may not allow the person to see you, this quick fix may not apply to recording devices like microphones.
For example, your phone could listen to your conversations even when it’s not in use. We keep smartphones with us all the time; that is why, they are prime targets of ambient recording apps and can be remotely controlled.
If you have heard of Xnspy then you would know how powerful this app is with its remote control capabilities.
Xnspy is an ambient recording app that can access the microphone of the target phone remotely.
You don’t even need physical access to the smartphone. With a one-time access to your target phone, anyone can record your surroundings for hours.
You can hear them from your account and keep them saved. But apps like Xnspy are more than just ambient recording apps. They can be used for more intrusive purposes than just listening to the surroundings.
Other than your smartphones, there are many other devices in your home that are designed to be voice activated. Your smart TV and some gadgets like the Amazon Echo could be activated by voice and act on your spoken commands.
Smart home devices
Besides the video and audio recording, there are different other gadgets that we need to be concerned about.
If you have a smart home monitor at home, then it knows how many people are there in your home.
Even your smart water meter knows how many times a toilet is flushed in your home. Your refrigerators and alarm clocks know about your water intake and sleep cycles respectively.
Your cell phone has a GPS built into it that can track your location. Your movements are recorded in your cell phone, and not just Google, other companies can access them, too.
In fact, any interested person can also track your location using third-party apps. Even ambient recording apps, like Xnspy, can track your location. But even if you turn off location services, that doesn’t mean your phone is not keeping track of your whereabouts.
Next-generation wiretapping devices
Modern phones are equipped with a lot more invasive technology than to listen in on the conversations. Breaking into a locked phone is the next step beyond a traditional wiretap. Governments are already pressing the tech companies to rethink their privacy laws.
But it is hard to draw a line in cases of privacy as there is no precedent to guide us on how these technical issues will play out in the court.
Indeed, tracking cell phones could be helpful for the law enforcement agencies if they are allowed by the cell phone companies to wiretap your phone for listening to your conversations. But this would compromise the privacy of the general public on a massive scale as companies would sneak into the devices without the permission of the user. The concern would not only be the LEAs but also the third party apps, like Xnspy, that could be used by the bad actors to spy on your phone.
The omnipresent smart devices around us raise some serious privacy questions and we should debate how we balance these costs and benefits for the collective direction of our society in case of technology use.
Do you really think we need smart devices? Weigh in your CBA down below.