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Keep yourself safe when using wearable technology

November 6, 2017 GMT

Courtesy of the Canton Regional and Greater West Virginia Better Business Bureau

According to Forbes.com, wearable technology has quickly become the new fad that’s a must-have. From smart watches, glasses, fitness and health trackers to smart jewelry, there are thousands of devices and designs to choose from. The wearables market is expected to be more than $4 billion in 2017. Out of the 70 percent of consumers that are aware of wearables, one in six of those currently own and use one.

With these gadgets, users can conveniently manage messages, music, fitness and more right from their wrists as they go about the day. So, as their popularity rises, so does the possibility of a security breach. With most wearables collecting data such as date of birth, medical information, location, and personal contacts and information, knowing how to protect your privacy is becoming ever more important. Smartwatches do offer numerous security features, however most are not taking advantage of them because they are not automatically set.

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How to secure your device

n Turn security features on. They are available in settings, but not automatically set up.

n Set a PIN code: Set up a PIN that is needed to unlock the device.

n Create a pattern lock: If your device offers the ability to set a special pattern to open it, create one. Guessing a pattern is much more difficult than cracking a PIN code.

n Use your phone. Have your phone lock your device if it is a certain distance away. That way, if your device is stolen, the person will not be able to unlock it.

n Turn on wrist detection. Set your watch to detect your wrist. If it is not on your wrist, it should lock.

n Turn Bluetooth off when not in use. If you take your device off when you sleep or during the day, make sure to disable your Bluetooth. This will protect your device from hackers.

n Pair device for the first time from home. By doing additional pairing at home, you are eliminating to possibility of anyone else hacking into your device.

Source: Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov.

Visit bbb.org/canton to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam with Scam Tracker, read tips, follow on social media and more. The Canton Regional and Greater West Virginia Better Business Bureau offers tips and advice for consumers to avoid fraudulent practices.