IoT : Risks and Advantages

by kyriakos kyriakides

Dear Readers ,

In this article, I would like to share with you the advantages and the risks that surround IoT. As technology evolves, it’s a good practice to be prepared and informed regarding this development. IoT can be either a good or a curse for humans. First, let's understand what the meaning of IoT is.  

What IoT stands for?

IoT is an acronym for Internet of Things. Basically, it is a terminology about the internetwork that all smart devices create together. The smart device is any device that has access to the Internet. It can be a smartphone, a vehicle , a smartwatch , a building or even a refrigerator. In that network , smart devices exchange data from to each other.  

From Science Fiction to Reality:

A few years ago, it was a science fiction to talk with someone through your mobile phone that lives in a foreign country. Today it is in our daily routine. Scientist already started creating the idea of Smart house , Smart car etc. For instance Smart house, is a house , that all the electronic devices are connected together through a network so they can communicate. Imagine , when you wake up, your house realize it and automatically turns on the coffee machine, and the coffee machine starts creating your morning coffee! This is not far from reality! Again, smart car is a car, that has access to the internet. It can provide you anything you need from entertainment to information about your destination . Google started creating Again, smart car is a car, that has access to the internet. It can provide you anything you need, from entertainment to information about your destination . Google started creating a car that can literally drive by itself! So imagine how fast technology and science grow. Make no mistake, this huge and rapid growth has as many risks as advantages. Let's first talk  about the advantages of all those smart devices (in other words IoT) PlusnetHouseSmall

In this picture, we can see an example of Smart House that we are going to create! Pretty cool right? 😀

Advantages of IoT:

IoT can be applied in science , medical and health care, environmental monitoring, producing eco-friendly energy, constructing buildings etc . To be more specific, let me give you some examples in order to help you understand how helpful IoT can be. For the first example, let's say that a civil engineer constructs a bridge in San Francisco . He can place sensors on that bridge to know when this bridge will need again a service, how solid it is, how much electricity pass through the bridge, and much more information that can be very useful.  So imagine how better this construction can be. Let's take for our second example, health care. In health and medical care, there are devices that can be placed in our body so they can monitor and observe the blood pressure, heart rates and also can notify for an emergency health issue. There are also wristbands that can take those metrics. A third example that we can use for our discussion is about producing energy . There are devices that can communicate with electric devices so they can manage the electricity that passes through them and keep it into a steady stage. Also, devices like this can be used to save energy of all forms (Such as thermal energy, nuclear energy, electricity etc.) There are so many examples to talk about the advantages and the benefits that IoT has to offer to us . As you can imagine there are unlimited potentials . But if IoT is so ideal, what are the risks that we have to be aware of ?  

Risks of IoT:

As we discussed, in the beginning, smart devices communicate with each other. They exchange information , data. Imagine that in the Web flows unlimited data ! What happens to those data? What happens to that information? What if someone wants to retrieve information unauthorized? There are thousands of questions and doubts that need to be answered. Let's take the problem with the unauthorized retrieve of information, also known as hacking. A hacker is usually a person with great skills in computers.  Hackers are people that want's to retrieve or destroy information from a computer , a server , or a network. How can we be safer and prevent hackers from attacking us? First of all, we have to have the strong password in every account we use on the internet. We must have different passwords for every account, and we must change our passwords very often. Another way to prevent hackers from taking personal information is to have an Antivirus on our Personal Computer. We have to update our antivirus every day . In addition, another very important measure is to back up all of our important information. Another risk that we have to know about is related to wearable devices, as the wristband that we have mentioned earlier. We have to be cautious about those devices because there is always a risk of someone receiving important information regarding our health. Another aspect that we have to consider is our location. There is always the possibility that through those devices someone can know where we live, where we usually hang out and where we study. We need to be careful when we are considering buying a device like this. When you are about to buy a device remember that it must be legal and certified, from a trusted manufacturer.


  Those are some of the advantages and the risks that IoT has. To conclude, I would like you to remember that we need to be very cautious and always remember that the technology was created by humans and we can control it, but we have to be informed and have knowledge regarding the news, the risks and what technology has to offer.  As you have already read above, IoT and all technologies can offer something to us. So we can take advantage of it. Don't be afraid of this development. Just take all the goods that it has to offer, and learn how to be protected from the bad and the disadvantages. internet-of-things