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Wearable Tech Is a Security Nightmare

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 18, 2016 6:56 AM

As time goes on, technology has not only assumed a larger role in the layman's life, but in the lawyer's as well. Today, wearable tech is all the rage -- and whenever something is all the rage, that's when professionals should let cooler heads take the lead. Because any sane-minded professional should realize that wearable tech presents an enormous security risk.

Beating the Dead Horse

We hate beating a dead horse into tomorrow's meatloaf, but it has to be said again. Security risks surround all of us today, and most lawyers aren't even remotely aware of how vulnerable their data is.

The reality of the situation is this: virtually no amount of encryption, multi-factor authentication, or pass-phrase password trickery will keep a skilled hacker out of your sensitive material. If a dedicated hacker wants to get to your electronic information, it's only a matter of time.

Of course, this doesn't mean you should make it any easier for hackers than it already is.

Security: The High Price of Fashionable Convenience

Look around your office or gym. You'll notice that a significant percentage of your coworkers and gym-mates are wearing either an iWatch or some other wearable device like a Fitbit or Jawbone. We'll save you some number crunching: some estimates figure that more than 200 million people will be wearing tech on their bodies by 2018. Imagine all of those persons accessing their files on the cloud, updating their data to the cloud, inputting personal information.

Obviously, you see the problem. In the old days, personal information (and, god forbid, client communications and files) could only be accessed if one physically went down to your office, pried open a locked cabinet, and disappeared into the night.

But overall, this generation is much lazier and less apt to apply best practices when it comes to the issue of security. If the founder of Facebook himself is guilty of using "dadada" as a password, then we can only imagine the ludicrous attitude the grand majority of wearable tech users will take when interacting with the world. After all, it is now the age of IoT, right?

Slowing Down the Attack

Take all the following steps to heart. Unless you plan to drop your career as an attorney and become an expert in computer security and cryptography, you virtually have no hope of beating hackers. But you can at least parry their attacks.

1. Set Up Strong Passwords

This should be your most basic line of defense, and yet people inexcusably fall short even in this day and age. Set up a decent passphrase and use a variant for all. Wearable tech has not quite smoothly interfaced with password programs like LastPass, but we're sure that we'll change soon.

2. Backup Onto Unconnected Devices

I like to backup a lot of sensitive files on portable flash keys that I keep in a place only I know about. These keys are inaccessible to the internet and have no funny IoT capabilities to weaken them further. Only you, the four walls, and whatever higher power you believe in should know the location of where they are stored.

3. Don't Use Wearable Tech

Seriously, you should consider this option. Data about your body, metabolism -- all of that is being uploaded to the cloud. Meanwhile -- someone in Russia or China could be farming your data or using your wearable tech to infiltrate another one of your devices. Given the nature of the technology at this stage, is this really a risk you want to be taking?

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