Despite their convenience and assistance, can smart devices and apps be trusted?

Our fast-moving lives have made us so busy that we don’t have much time for physical exercise. But somehow, we still manage to squeeze quick workouts into our daily schedules. Smart devices have a crucial role to play in this.

Unlike traditional methods, smart devices and apps let us track our vitals quickly and take respective actions. For instance, a smartwatch can quickly indicate when you might need to slow down and rest.

Despite their convenience and assistance, can these devices be trusted? Is our information protected in the fitness and running apps? Many questions like these need answers as these tools have some drawbacks, too.

Many fitness and running apps do not have the required privacy and security features. So, if you are using any fitness or running apps, you may need to read its privacy policy.

Risks of fitness and running apps

Now, most running and fitness apps pose security and privacy risks. But what are these risks?

Leakage of personal data

Data is a currency for almost every business today. Therefore, they make every possible effort to get it. When you use a wearable with an app installed on your phone, you let companies effortlessly access your data.

Your fitness app has your name, address, weight, and other crucial aspects. These data aspects can be used in numerous ways to exploit you if there isn’t any rock-solid privacy policy.

Any cybercriminal can track you wherever you go with the location data once it is hacked. Your email can be used to spam you into clicking on malicious links and whatnot. Your name and other personal details can be used to create fake accounts and extract information from your known people. However, with fitness apps, your health data can be dumped for the public to see if app controllers do not use appropriate protection mechanisms.

Poor security

Data privacy is related to your control over the data. But security is more about data protection. Many apps do not have robust security protocols to shield user data, leading to unauthorized access.

Hackers can use a lot of ways to hack your data, such as open Wi-Fi, weak encryption, un-updated apps, and many others.

Sharing and misusing data

Besides hacks, fitness apps could share many details about your fitness regime with advertisers. It means that many external parties can know your weight, height, and other confidential information you would like to keep private.

Thus, it is essential to read privacy policies and determine whether your app won’t do this. Of course, privacy policies can be tricky. Therefore, you need to know the tricks for understanding privacy policies. Only then should you agree with the terms presented to you.

Counteracting measures for privacy and security risks

It is difficult to predict when an emergency will strike. But we can always prepare for the worst. If you are using a fitness or running app on your phone or smart wearable, here are some practices that can protect you.

Read the privacy policy

There are some terms and conditions to use whenever you install an app. We usually click on “I Agree” quickly before checking them. If not anything else, you need to read the privacy and security aspects of the app for your satisfaction.

Use strong passwords

Passwords are your initial line of defence against a security breach. Hence, you need to set them and make them strong. A strong password is a blend of numbers, letters, uppercase letters, and special characters.

Nowadays, we own dozens of accounts, and each of them should feature unique passwords. Of course, keeping up with all these lengthy combinations gets difficult. Therefore, many users turn to password managers as secure vaults for easy password retrieval.

Check and alter the privacy settings

If you are using an app, it is best to check its privacy settings. Many apps publicly share user data by default, but it should not be like that. The data should be limited to some people like followers, friends, or family if it is anyway. You need to check and change these settings if required.

Allows auto-updates

Many of us disable auto-updates to save data, but it is imperative to enable auto-updates if you want to keep your app secure. Developers keep on making changes to the apps based on the discovered vulnerabilities. Keep it always updated to ensure that your fitness app is shielded from cyberattacks.

If an app offers an automatic update option, enable it. It means that your software will always get the latest updates without your involvement. It is a perfect solution to users delaying updates for as long as possible.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network can be a great companion, not just for your fitness app data protection but also for your online surfing. It can easily encrypt internet traffic, preventing potential snoopers from accessing your data.

Download VPN apps for staying safe, and do not forget to enable them before connecting to free Wi-Fi or unknown networks. You do not know the security settings such networks have. Thus, performing encryption through a VPN helps prevent unnecessary tracking.

Conclusion

Your data is a great asset. As it can be leaked and accessed from various data points, it is necessary to stay aware and incorporate robust protection measures. The article takes on some great methods to keep your data secure and private. So, please keep them in check, especially regarding your health.