Fitness Fanatics take note! While it may be motivating, inspiring and frankly fun to track your steps, heart rate and sleep patterns via your wearable, in light of the recent Garmin ransomware cyberattack, it may be time to rethink data security.
Recently Garmin, an industry leader in wearables and GPS navigation, were victims of a ransomware attack. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts important files, making them unusable until victims agree to pay a ransom fee. Garmin was forced to shut down many of its services, including Garmin Connect, which keeps your wearable data synchronized. Of greater concern, Garmin’s aviation database services, call centre, online chat and email systems, basically their entire customer service infrastructure was also shut down.
In a press release statement, Garmin admitted they were the victim of a cyberattack, but stated that had “no indication that any customer data, including payment information from Garmin Pay, was accessed, lost or stolen.”
Moving forward, you can simply remove your tracker or there are a few steps you can take to protect your privacy when using your wearable device:
Check the default settings on your App or Device
Check all Privacy Settings
Turn off Location Tracking
Revisit all Privacy Policies – and YES – take the time to read them
Stay committed to protecting your personal information
Granted, there are no guarantees in the land of cybersecurity, so stay alert, be mindful and follow basic data protection practices. Now get out there and count those steps!