The Internet can be defined as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. And now, one step ahead lies, Internet of Things, that is all set to further transform the world towards betterment. Internet of Things is basically a system created by billions of devices, all over the world, from watches, computers, mobile phones to vehicles and many more, connected and interacting with each other via the internet. Data between devices is constantly shared and transferred to a cloud server.
The data can then be analyzed and if a certain action is required to be taken, the sensors in devices are guided to carry out that action. Thanks to improved and advanced technology we have cheap and readily available sensors that can create our homes, devices, appliances, and vehicles to behave as smartly. Experts predict that more than half of new business will run on IoT by this current year, 20201.
The Internet of Things benefits humans in great ways. It creates our devices, homes, and vehicles smarter, responsive and measurable. Google Home and Amazon Echo are great examples of the ease IoT bring in users’ lives and homes. Smart devices monitor visitors in and out of our homes and buildings. Smart bulbs and thermostats, for example, automatically change lighting and temperatures, respectively, according to the time of the day. This means no more coming to a cold and dark house after tiring hours in the office. Also, with devices adjusting the output from the live data available, a great amount of energy can be saved from being wasted, for example by cutting heating costs.
On the other hand, the Internet of Things also entails some personal privacy and security issues. The sensors in devices are collecting data all the time, which may be extremely sensitive. Flaws in software, either having bugs or being outdated, may prove to be extremely feeble in maintaining the user data secure and in a safe place. According to Steve Ranger of zdnet, “hackers are now targeting IoT devices such as routers and webcams because their inherent lack of security makes them easy to compromise.” Sensitive information such as passwords, pin codes, bank account details, business strategies, and plans may all be stolen with all the data gathering devices being connected on the internet. Personal information like habits, diet plans, favorite movies and songs, likes and dislikes, can be illegally acquired by businesses and companies to influence your shopping and money investments. Along with that, personal pictures and videos can be accessed by hackers. And a cycle of blackmailing may begin afterward.
Just like any other technology or previous invention, the Internet of Things possesses both the pros and cons. Also, as the benefits are galore, so are the risks. It is the duty of users and legislatures of countries to formulates ways and policy guidelines that enable users to extract most of the benefits of IoT without the fear of risking their security and privacy.
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