General Insurance Article - Cyber top tips for new gadgets gifted this Christmas


An average of £299 will be spent this year on Christmas gifts, according to Deloitte analysis. Cyber risk partner, Stephen Bonner, provides his tips for keeping new gadgets secure and their owners compliant with GDPR.

 Fitness trackers
 “No doubt there will be a few new faces in the gym, come January. However, those keeping an eye on 2019 fitness goals with the help of a fitness tracker will also want to ensure they have full sight of how and where their data is being used. Could your device unwittingly reveal your usual cycling or running route? And, from this, could a would-be hacker reasonably identify your home or place of work?
  
 For most, putting the right privacy settings in place is adequate to ensure set-up is done safely.
  
 “The good news is that many developers have incorporated innovative technology that blurs out the immediate vicinity of home and work locations, making it much more difficult for hackers to pin-point these exact locations.”
  
 Home DNA kits
 “As with most gadgets, having a general awareness of your data is key; particularly when that data is sensitive. For home DNA kits, this means knowing the ways in which your information is being used, or could be used in future, is prudent. Given you are also revealing information about your parents and children, you may want to seek their permission over the Brussels sprouts just in case there is a surprise in the results. If you are unsure, best practice would be to exercise your right to deletion once you are in receipt of your DNA results.”
  
 Smart home devices
 “Like almost all technology, voice-enabled devices and smart gadgets around the home are not immune from hacking. In some, more extreme, instances these technologies have been turned into listening devices; raising a very modern etiquette question for your dinner guests this Christmas. GDPR has exemptions for personal use but although it may not be a legal requirement, it is polite to notify people when they are possibly being recorded. Again, keeping up-to-date on software updates and putting in place strong passwords and using two factor authentication where possible will help deter security breaches.
  
 “Similarly, with Christmas deliveries picking up over this period, it is worth nothing that use of smart video doorbells and facial recognition technology, monitoring individuals as they enter and leave homes, falls into the remit of GDPR for the companies providing these services. Santa in the future may choose the smart front door over the chimney, but some couriers already are.”
  
 Dashcams
 “Again, there are a number of modern etiquette considerations here which could be contentious. For example, if you drive past a school, how do you avoid recording footage of the children or if you happen to record a road incident, do others have the right to ask for your footage?
  
 “Equally, if your intention is ever to use your dashcam footage for insurance purposes, it is worth noting that this may go beyond ‘personal’ usage.”
  
 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
 “Finally, with so many new technologies likely to be unwrapped this Christmas, employers will have to consider the implication of employees bringing their own devices to the workplace in the new year.
  
 “The main consideration will be protecting the network and ensuring that new devices, if connected, are done so safely and securely. Businesses should also reflect on consumer products for inspiration for new, more efficient, ways of working.”

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