L is for the way you look at your technology, O is for you’re not the only one looking at it. We L-O-V-E our connected devices, our apps, and all the online social interaction that comes with them. But unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who love them, as cybercriminals are attempting to capitalize on our connected lifestyles in order to swoop valuable personal information. Let’s explore why this is happening, how our increased device use impacts our lives, and what we can do to show our personal security some love.
Sharing data during modern dating
We love our devices largely for the connectedness and information they provide us with. For example, modern romance has shifted towards dating apps largely because these apps connect us with world quickly and easily. On these dating apps, you share information about yourself with strangers. But could you be sharing that info with strangers that aren’t even on the app? Just a few weeks ago, security researchers discovered that popular dating app Tinder still lacks basic HTTPS encryption for photos. Just by being on the same Wi-Fi network as any user of Tinder’s iOS or Android app, potential hackers could see any photo the user did, or even inject their own images into his or her photo stream. These crooks could even watch a user swipe left or right. By trying to stay connected online, these dating app users could be helping cybercriminals connect to their personal data instead.
The effects of our device devotion
Ironically enough, our efforts to engage socially online don’t exactly help us strengthen real-life relationships. In fact, we know from last year’s Connected Relationships survey that as we use our connected devices more and more each day, our relationships are negatively impacted by that use.
The Connected Relationships survey respondents said that they spend an equal amount of time at home online (38%) as they do interacting with others face-to-face. And 40% felt their significant other paid more attention to their own device when they were together one-on-one. You could even say that, for many, these devices have become the “other (wo)man” in the relationship.
Though devices have managed to cause some minor riffs between couples, that doesn’t stop couples from sharing even when they shouldn’t. Out of those surveyed, nearly 30% of couples share passwords to social media accounts, 28% share passwords to personal email accounts, and most shockingly, more than 20% share their work-specific devices and accounts with their significant other.
Spread the love to your personal security
So, whether you’re sharing your private data with a dating app, or your account info with a loved one, it’s important you show your personal security some love too. To do just that, follow these tips:
- Limit how personal you get. Whether its Tinder, another dating app, or just any regular app, only provide the program with information that is absolutely necessary — this especially goes for financial data. Additionally, take the time to remove unnecessary personal information from your devices in general that could compromise your security. The less personal data you have on a device, the safer your information will be.
- Make passwords a priority. Ensure your passwords are secure and strong by including numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as symbols. If you’re someone who knows the struggle with generating and remembering multiple unique passwords, use a password manager, like the True Key app. A password manager can help you create strong and secure passwords and log you into your favorite websites automatically using multi-factor authentication.
- Focus on what really matters. We love our devices, but it’s important to disconnect every now and then to spend time with the important people in our lives, like friends and family. Don’t worry: your social networks will be right there waiting for you when you get back.