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Staying Safe While Getting In Shape – Fitness Tracker Cyber Tips

We’re currently in that strange time of year where the holidays are behind us but the coming year is still ahead. Many people (who were extra nice and only a little naughty this year) were lucky enough to receive some sort of fitness-related gift like a FitBit, Apple Watch, or some other fitness tracker! This, coupled with many of us setting some health-related new year’s resolutions, means that the use of fitness trackers and fitness apps will continue to rise, at least over the next few weeks while we all try to make as much progress on our fitness goals as possible before 2021 brings along its own craziness to deal with. While these can be excellent tools to help you get in shape, it is incredibly important to be aware of the tips to keep you, as a user of such a device, safe.

Physical Risk of Data Loss

Your fitness tracker is collecting some of the most private and personally identifiable information that there is to know about you. Yet, despite this fact, these devices do little in the way of encrypting your data. Many of these wearable technologies do not have passwords to protect against physical entry into the device should someone steal it from you. It seems as though many manufacturers of these devices try to add security features with each new release of a device, so it is important for you as a user of wearable fitness tech to be aware of your options to secure your device and use them! The option for a PIN is not even used by all smartphone users, so there is always room for human judgement and error.

Limit Access to Data

One of the awesome features of these devices is that you can share your data with different apps in order to get a more personalized health plan for getting or staying in shape. However, it is important that you be aware of what data you are sharing with each of these applications, particularly those from third-party sites. Even for those devices which are purely fitness trackers, it is important to be sure that the information being shared with manufacturers is limited to those that the company would have a reasonable need-to-know.

This same feature applies to health apps on your phone — many people will use these online tools in tandem with their wearable fitness technology in order to ensure they are being as healthy as possible. Be sure that these apps only have necessary information and nothing extra.

Dormant unused features — When possible, it is more secure for you to temporarily turn off features on your fitness tracker that are not needed or not in use. Though this may seem like an unnecessary step, hackers can identify unsecured devices like a fitness tracker and prey upon these unsecured connections.

An example of this that is important to keep in mind is that threat posed to a person who is always sharing their geolocation; not only does this give cybercriminals information digitally, but it could cause serious physical harm if this information were to fall into the wrong hands.

Not Keeping Operating Systems Up-To-Date — Your fitness tracker is similar to your phone in many ways, one of which is the fact that you need to keep the tracker as up-to-date as possible, not only in order to take advantage of updates features, as well as increased security. This is one of the basic essentials to protecting your fitness tracker.

While fitness trackers are a great way to get yourself in shape, it is very important to be aware of the ways you can keep yourself safe while using these devices!

Image by vectorjuice for Freepik.