ICYMI (first published on decentralize.today on December 3rd 2020)
Once seen as only a dream, smart city projects around the world have already been taking place. Numerous cities around the world are investing in this data-oriented technology to improve their efficiency.
With surveillance cameras everywhere, smart street lights, smart garbage cans, and interconnected cars – this technology will address some of the most persistent problems in urban areas. It will help reduce traffic jams and congestion, make managing waste easier, and improve residents' safety in the towns.
The privacy concerns
Smart cities are very efficient because they rely on real-time data. The cities collect and gather data from millions of sensors, our phones, surveillance cameras, smart meters, and even RFIDs. The data is then analyzed to spot trends and patterns.
The more data the city collects, the more details they receive on the lives of the residents – which puts their privacy at risk.
Any cyber-attacks on the smart city database could expose the private information of millions of people. What's worse, since most of the data collected is real-time any cyber-attacks can reveal your locations to malicious people.
How can you protect your privacy?
Despite many engineers working to improve the data privacy in smart cities, experts believe that it's impossible to fully solve this issue. That's why you need to learn how to protect your privacy as technology continues to advance.
Here are a few ways to do this:
Use a VPN
City-wide Wi-Fi networks are a main characteristic of smart cities. The city can’t collect any data without it. So, to avoid exposing too much of your personal information, use a VPN every time you're on public Wi-Fi. A VPN encrypts your data traffic and masks your location making it harder to track you.
Don't connect to unsecured wi-fi
Unless you're using a good premium VPN, never connect to public unsecured wi-fi. Public wi-fi is a good spot for cyber attackers to attack unsuspecting citizens. It’s also a good place for the smart city to collect a lot of information from the users.
Don’t share too much online
The more you share on social media and other platforms, the more data you reveal to smart cities. In the unfortunate event that there’s a cyber-attack on their database, you’ll be at more risk. Basically, don’t post your home address, your phone number, bank details, or any other data that can be used to identify you.
Protect your data
Make use of the numerous encryption software in the market today to protect your data. If you're transferring files or making transactions online, make sure the website is secured by a 'padlock' icon at the status bar.
Although smart cities promise to solve most of the problems faced by urban towns, we can’t ignore the privacy risk it poses to all of us. Therefore, take some time and learn how to protect your data in this evolving technology!
Article supplied by Amy Cavendish at thetechfools.com