(NC) You might spread more than seasonal cheer
by giving someone one of those electronic devices that appear on so many
wish lists. That fitness tracker, gaming console or voice assistant
might also share their personal information.
Internet-connected devices are popular gift ideas because they can be
helpful and fun. But connectivity comes with the risk that the user’s
activities may be tracked, measured and analyzed, either by the device’s
manufacturer or a service provider, such as a game or app.
This year, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is
cautioning shoppers that popular internet-connected gifts can raise
privacy issues because they often require users to provide personal
information, such as name, age, gender, email address or phone number.
Before picking out such a device, consider the risks. If you are
uncomfortable with the amount of personal information something collects
and shares, keep shopping for another gift.
Here are some tips for protecting privacy when using internet-connected electronic devices:
- Turn gadgets off when you don’t need them.
- Change the default password on any device you buy. Use strong
passwords and don’t re-use the same password across multiple devices or
- Create a guest WiFi network just for connected devices to keep them separate from your computers and other more secure devices.
Learn more at priv.gc.ca/iot