The Internet of Things promises synergy between devices, but convenience comes at a cost: security. Users are (rightfully) wary to trust major tech companies with their information. A Google Survey poll found 48 percent of respondents distrust Facebook’s involvement in IoT.
In the wake of Prime Day, Amazon’s yearly mega sale, millions of homes just got smarter. Smart devices, such as Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats and digital assistants, are the day’s hottest tech and many of them were discounted.
The average home has five connected devices, a number projected to rise by 180 percent in six years. Almost every new device you buy packs in some online functionality—even toys have made the jump to the interconnected age.
Big companies are taking advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT), using the now infinite and endless streams of data to improve their products, teach AI, and speed up transactions. But many IoT companies aren’t doing enough to secure their devices, leaving users vulnerable to attacks.
PCMag asked 2000 people (via Google Surveys) how they viewed IoT, whether they knew what it was, and which IoT companies they trusted. Nearly a quarter of respondents trusted Google, followed by Amazon at 21 percent, both Microsoft and Samsung at 16 percent, and LG at 10 percent.
Facebook, unsurprisingly, was the least trusted IoT company—only 6 percent of respondents put their faith in it, and 48 percent of respondents actively distrust Facebook. The social media giant generally has image issues, especially where security is concerned.
Recently, government agencies investigated it for data leaks, and three months ago, it copped to insecurely storing Instagram users’ passwords. And last year, a Toluna poll found that Facebook was the least trusted tech company by a significant margin. (Twitter came in next, trailing by 30 percent).
It’s a justifiable concern—IoT security is a mess. Individual smart devices pose risks, but when they’re connected to wider networks, those dangers can multiply. A compromised Alexa knows more than your deodorant preference: It’s linked to other smart home devices such as camera-enabled doorbells and thermostats. And some IoT devices, including driverless cars, necessitate heightened security to keep users from physical harm.
Big companies may not be doing enough to keep us safe, but we can take matters into our own hands by keeping your information secure and learning the signs of a scam. Read how smart buildings drive down costs.