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Why you should be worried about the Internet of Things

Posting in Energy

Forget to turn off a light while you rushed out of the house? No problem, you can do it from your phone at the office. In theory, the Internet of Things, with its smart, connected devices that allow you to control your appliances from afar or all in one place, is making our lives more simple and efficient.

But Rachel Metz has me convinced that we should be a little more skeptical of gadgets like this one that let you unlock your unlock your door from your phone.

Security researchers fear that the risks presented by these new types of gadgets are especially concerning. If hackers can exploit a weakness in a single type of Internet-connected home appliance or system—such as an Internet-connected door lock—they may be able to harm thousands of people at once. “It might be some effort to get this kind of scenario, but if breaking into one server means you get to ransack 100, 1,000, 10,000 people’s homes, that’s definitely worth it, and that’s where the real danger lies,” Crowley says.

The latest data shows that there are already 10 billion of these wirelessly-connected devices on the market. Those numbers will continue to climb, reaching a possible 30 billion by 2020 and increasing security risks. With the worldwide market over $600 billion, the Internet of Things is already big business. Let's just hope that improving security comes before securing profits.

Read more: Technology Review

Photo: Flickr/Nathan Chantrell

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— By on August 14, 2013, 5:28 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure