IoT Devices: The Pros and Cons

10/04/2018

As the years go on, it is very evident that the IoT (Internet of Things) will influence our lives in great ways, more than we can imagine. But the question remains, is it too much of a good thing?

What Exactly Constitutes IoT?

IoT consists of any hardware or physical device connected to the internet; these devices usually take on the word “smart” in their name. Smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit, and smart homes with internet-connected light bulbs, cooling systems, and alarm systems are part of the IoT ecosystem.

IoT is growing at a rapid rate with a huge range of apps and devices that are increasing our conveniences and giving us more control as our lives get busier and busier.

Even the ability to remotely control automatic pet feeders can save us hours in the day. 

On the other hand, being constantly connected also brings with it several risks and challenges:

Anything Digital is Hackable

All things that come in digital form—emails, bank accounts, medical records, and so on—run the risk of electronic theft.

Systems with weak cybersecurity measures in place are especially vulnerable. Think about the growing news reports of cyberattacks hitting tech companies such as Twitter and government websites. These organizations had heavy security protocols in place, but got hacked anyway.

Now think about this, an IoT device can constitute a more direct target than even websites and email accounts. These devices are physical objects that people take with them or even wear. Now, if there is a malicious hacker out there that wants to harm a specific individual on purpose, that person’s device could serve as a gateway to a lot of trouble and pain.

Connection Dependency

IoT devices are completely dependent on the internet connection they run on. If there is a power failure or server crash, connected devices will be affected. Now, if your home has a smart thermostat and your internet connection goes down, your environment may be very unpleasant.

Today’s Innovation is Tomorrow’s Rotary Phone

With the rapid rate of developing technologies, we never quite know where high-tech will lead us or where exactly it will be in a few years, although industry experts have ideas. This is the price of innovation. From a practical perspective, people who spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the most advanced IoT devices will likely need to upgrade quickly, which takes time, effort, and money.

People who own IoT devices should consider the pros and cons of using internet-connected devices in their businesses and homes, as well as for recreational activities.

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