Here Comes the Internet of Things: Here's How to Stay Secure

Some kinds of information can be easily deduced from metrics recorded by your home thermostat including what times of day your home is empty and during which hours you are typically asleep. 

What's the Latest?


The Internet of Things takes advantage of aggregated data to help improve the efficiency of machines. In the case of home thermostats, perhaps the most common and democratic example, knowing at which times of day your city consumes the most energy can help you take advantage of price incentives to use less electricity. To create this useful information, the thermostat takes individual bits of data from individual homes. When using this technology, experts warn it is important to know whether you are helping to contribute to data aggregation. Doing so without taking the proper precautions can put you at risk.

What's the Big Idea?

Some kinds of information can be easily deduced from metrics recorded by your home thermostat including what times of day your home is empty and during which hours you are typically asleep. That may not be information you want floating around in public. For businesses, this means creating a stronger system of IT networks including "health tracking devices, smart metering devices, intelligent transportation devices, etc as part of other application patching." Industry observers recommend opting out of sharing systems until you have installed proper protections on your data. 

Read more at Forbes

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Related Articles

Why the world needs death to prosper

Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.

Surprising Science
  • Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
  • After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
  • Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
Keep reading Show less

Why birds fly south for the winter—and more about bird migration

What do we see from watching birds move across the country?

E. Fleischer
Surprising Science
  • A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
  • The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
  • Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Keep reading Show less

How does alcohol affect your brain?

Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.

(Photo by Angie Garrett/Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
  • Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
  • Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
Keep reading Show less