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Reasons why you should be extra careful when using a workout app
Fitness trackers and apps from companies including Google, Apple, Garmin and Strava offer a convenient way to monitor body metrics like sleep quality and heart rate. But even the biggest security-focused brands can be hacked or share personal data in other unintended ways with serious, sometimes devastating, consequences.
Data collected by a fitness app isn't protected like health information by law, setting social and location settings, and login credentials, critical for a user to get right before making these devices part of their daily life . Fitness trackers, which help track sleep quality, heart rate and other biological parameters, are a popular way to help Americans improve their health and well-being.
While these devices are growing in popularity and have legitimate uses, consumers don't always understand the extent to which their information may be available or intercepted by third parties. This is particularly important because people cannot simply change their DNA sequence or heart rhythms any more than they can change their credit card or bank account number. Here's what you need to know about the security risks associated with fitness trackers and personal health data. Fitness equipment can be expensive, but don't be tempted to skimp on safety to save a few bucks. "While a lesser-known company may offer a better price,
There may be other concerns beyond exposing a person's sensitive information in a data breach. For example, fitness trackers generally connect to a user's phone via Bluetooth, leaving personal data vulnerable to hacking.
"To increase protection, see what settings can be adjusted, such as those related to social networks, location and other shared information," said Dan Demeter, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity. Users of the devices should be careful about what they post publicly about their location and activities, or what they allow to be made public by default. This data can be searched online and used to your detriment.