Can the Internet (IoT) really kill you? As technology is proceeding, we are connected to the internet in many ways. There are smart TVs, smart fridges, and complete home systems connected to an app on your phone. Your entire home behaves the way you want it to. It’s connected to your phone and you can change the temperature or switch the devices on or off from one place because they’re all interconnected. The internet is no longer restricted to your computer or phone – it’s in everything. The question is, can this “Skynet” harm you? Is it like a Sci-Fi movie with a robotic force building around you?
What is The Internet of Things?
The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data. In simple terms, IoT is a concept that covers any device that you can turn on and off and is connected to the Internet. This includes cellphones, cars, TVs, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, and many others.
Can the Internet of Things Really Kill You?
Here are some ways the IoT can harm you.
Your Smart Car Can Kill You
Ever heard of the classic trolley moral dilemma? You get to choose the people you kill – it’s either one or many. The smart car has its own dilemmas. Imagine you’re going on the smart car at a fast speed and a group of people suddenly gets in the way. The car cannot stop suddenly. What should it do? Crash into those people, killing them or crash into a tree, killing you? Surveys show that most smart cars will crash into a tree and kill you to save the crowd. So in essence, your expensive and beautiful car can actually be a lean mean killing machine.
Hacked Alarm System
Home alarm systems are generally interconnected with cameras and can be controlled via a central control panel. If a hacker gains control over the home alarm system, he can monitor your property and whatever you’re doing on it. And then when you’re not around – or maybe when you’re sleeping – they can turn it off and gain access to your home. It’s easy to open the garage door when it’s connected to the internet. They don’t even have to break into your home when they have the complete access to it. And even if they don’t want to enter, they can simply scare you by flipping the lights and locking the doors.
A pacemaker is a small device implanted surgically in a patient’s chest that controls their heartbeat.
Smart pacemakers are giving a new life and hope to patients but they are also becoming a health hazard. FDA recalled several pacemakers this year as they could be hacked. There were many security flaws that could be used by hackers to edit the working of the devices or even to run out the batteries. They could change the heart rate of people, endangering almost half a million people. The people who are already using pacemakers are advised to update them quickly.
Connected Medical Devices
As the medical technology incorporates internet to stay connected, security becomes a nightmare. If the different aspects of a life support system are connected together through the internet, they will be helpful for the patient but can also be risky. A simple DDoS attack on medical devices can leave patients struggling for oxygen or other vital supplies. This could be used to blackmail a hospital or a particular patient.
Home Configuration Mistakes
Smart fridges are designed with touchscreen control panels. They help you with your grocery lists. Smart stoves can be set at the right temperature for the right time. All these devices can be monitored using your smartphone. Without a smart stove, you’ll be standing there, taking care that the food doesn’t burn. When you enter the time and temperature and go take a nap, you’re relying on the stove to automatically do the work for you. With just a small error of an extra number or a misplaced decimal, it could lead to a lot of trouble. And then there are smart TVs that can hear your voice. They can be used to monitor you. A spy can be conveniently hearing what you say in the TV room and keep an eye on all your movements.
A thing that we see in Sci-Fi movies, robots could become self-aware. With the level of advancement of AI these days, there wouldn’t be a surprise if a robot army rises against humans, just like in Terminator. Siri might be your friend today but she just might join the robot army of the future and tell them all your secrets. Ever thought about that?
How do you stay safe in the internet of things? There are two things that you can do.
- Don’t use smart home products such as TV, fridge, stove, and cars
- Stay safe by using a VPN.
Can the Internet of Things Really Kill You – Wrap Up
If you want to use internet on your devices, make sure you cloak your identity from hackers using a VPN. With the help of a VPN, your data will be encrypted and your connection will be safe. When it comes to something that affects your life and your health, you cannot take risks. Use a VPN and stay protected.