Do Fitness Trackers Put Your Security at Risk?

ID Protection

Do Fitness Trackers Put Your Security at Risk?

Many of us use smart devices to track how often we move and sleep, and how many calories we consume. Insurance companies are starting to leverage this technology to offer discounts to customers who use activity trackers. While this may sound like a good idea, you may be asking yourself, “How much personal information is safe to share?”

The widespread use of FitBits and Apple watches has many concerned about how wearable technology can expose sensitive personal data. Most fitness trackers measure personal health metrics like your daily steps and your heart rate, but keep in mind that all of this is often tracked via apps on your smart phone, which can access information like your contacts, calendars, and locations. With this data, it’s not too difficult to determine where and with whom you spend your time. So what steps can you take to ensure privacy?

  1. Review your fitness tracker’s privacy policy. Be cautious about accepting the default privacy policy.   Check the “Privacy Controls” in your device’s “Settings.”  Look for information about how your information will be shared with your friends or publicly, and whether it will be sold.
  2. Turn off “Location Tracking.” Your location can reveal a lot about you – where you live, where you work, and where you shop.  Consider turning on location tracking for certain applications only.
  3. Update your device when prompted. Software updates often include important security fixes that you won’t want to miss.
  4. Avoid using unsecure networks. As your fitness tracker collects more and more personal data, you should avoid public Wi-Fi networks that put that personal data at risk.
  5. Treat your fitness tracker like any other valuable. If lost or stolen, it wouldn’t take much for your identity to be compromised.

When using wearable technology—even with the best protections in place—your personal information could still be exposed. Along with the precautions outlined above, it’s important to consider identity theft protection. If your personal information is compromised, having a service in place can not only help you resolve the problem in the short term, but can also supply continuous monitoring to ensure that your identity isn’t compromised in the future.

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