The Ping: Your Smart Device Just Sold Your Data to the Highest Bidder

Ok, we’re going to get a little conspiracy / someone-is-watching-me crazy right now………

If you have a device with a camera that can access – or be accessed from – the Internet, then you may have a physical security problem. Someone may be watching you. Someone may be listening to your sensitive conversations.


You’re probably now thinking, “You’re right, you are going a little crazy!”

How many of your co-workers are walking around with an unsecured Android or iPhone that is listening for voice commands? How many of these devices have been in meetings when you were talking about very sensitive issues?

If you’d like to follow us down the path of paranoia, just do a web search for “hack android microphone.”


Ok, so now you’re paranoid too. What’s the next step?

  1. The best first step to get a grip on employee-owned devices that are on your network is to create a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy. A BYOD policy dictates what an employee should and shouldn’t do with their personal device when it interacts with your business’ systems. It also can dictate how this device should be secured when at your business. For details on what makes a good BYOD policy, check out The Ping: BYOD
  2. Create a network for all your sensitive data & systems and closely control what gets plugged into it. Any device on this network needs to be monitored and carefully maintained to guarantee maximum security.
  3. Create a 2nd network for guest traffic and untrusted devices. This is where your customers and employees can connect their devices safely without sacrificing security. This is also where you’d connect Internet-aware devices like smart appliances, thermostats, lighting systems, etc.


So you’ve done all these things. Is there anything else to worry about?

Of course there is!

  • Physical access control & camera / DVR security systems: If you can access the login for your security system through your network then this system can be hacked. Here are three important things to check for to keep your security systems secure:
    • Change the passwords for all users frequently.
    • Don’t allow access to these devices through the Internet.
      • If you do need access to these devices remotely, put multiple safeguards in place like two-factor authentication and SSL.
    • Keep these devices updated.
  • New devices: There are new, Internet-aware devices appearing every day: watches, displays, coffee makers, you name it. Evaluate each and every device before bringing it into your business.


Now you’re probably thinking, “I should have never read this.”

I know it sounds like too much to worry about. You’re not alone on this journey. We’re here to help. Give us a call at 512-832-6209 and we can work this all out for you.


Once you’ve de-stressed a little, also check out our tips to keep you safe online: