Holiday Gifts that Put Your Privacy at Risk

    With the holiday season upon us, consumers are already making their holiday shopping lists. Not surprisingly, tech gifts are the most popular for the 2014 holiday season. What might surprise you, however, is that many of these must-have gifts also put consumers at the highest risk.

    IDT911, a provider of identity theft management services, has ranked the top holiday gifts that put your privacy at risk, as well as provided tips to help ensure personally identifiable information (PII) is safeguarded. Tis the season for giving…make sure you’re not giving away personal data too.

    IDT911 is a provider of personal-touch identity management solutions, identity theft recovery services, breach services and data risk management solutions for businesses.

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    Gifts that Threaten Privacy

    Click through for the top must-have tech gifts that can also leave your personal data vulnerable, as identified by IDT911.

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    iPhone 6 – Apple Pay

    Apple Pay and Find My iPhone make life easier. One lets you use your phone to pay for purchases. The other helps you locate your phone when it’s misplaced. Unfortunately, they also open your data to potential exposure.

    Tips: Start by using only one credit card — never debit cards — to mitigate risk if there is an issue. Use two-factor authentication to keep your personal information secure online.

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    Nest Thermostat

    With Nest, you get a smart thermostat that learns about your behavior for more efficient heating and cooling in your home. Unfortunately, there’s the potential for hackers to get backdoor access to your home and personal information.

    Tip: Never buy your devices used because they may contain malware. Watch for patches and upgrades that can offer stronger protection.

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    Jawbone Up

    This fitness tracker stores and tracks a lot of sensitive information about you to help you make better health decisions. But trackers are easily hacked and may not secure the data as well as we think.

    Tip: Read privacy policies to see if your data is for sale. Be cautious with social sharing features. Never share your location on social media. Use a screen lock to prevent unauthorized access to your device.

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    Pebble Steel

    This multifunctional smartwatch accepts phone calls and texts, and plays your favorite songs. It also has the potential to be hijacked.

    Tip: Pebble Steel depends on Bluetooth to connect with your phone. Be sure to review connection requests before approving to avoid being “bluejacked.” Turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using the device.

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    August Smart Lock

    Now you don’t have to juggle grocery bags to find your house keys. This smart home product uses your iPhone or Android to conveniently sense your approach and unlock your home’s front door.

    Tip: Rely on smartphone and Bluetooth security best practices. Use a screen lock or PIN on your phone, and set it to automatically engage after a period of inactivity. Turn off Bluetooth when not in use.

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    iPad Air 2

    Apple’s new top-of-the-line device is fast, light, and powerful enough to be your main or secondary computer. It’s also vulnerable to malware and easily lost or stolen.

    Tip: Keep your tablet’s operating system and apps up-to-date. Enable encryption for your data, and use only known, secure Wi-Fi networks.

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    Kindle Voyage

    Voyage is the seventh generation of the Kindle devices and has been hailed as a top e-reader device. But make sure you’re not letting companies track your reading and browsing habits.

    Tip: Modify your privacy settings to prevent sites from downloading cookies to your tablet. Make it harder to access your information by clearing your cookies, cache and browser history, too.

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