Last update: 14/02/2022
Activity trackers and health apps are great to help you meet your exercise goals. Make sure you can also help you meet your online security goals. Here are three ways you can do it.
Sue, the Fitness Tracker
Sue is really into tracking her achievements: everything from total workouts, average pace, elevation gains, splits to heart rate. To do this, she uses multiple fitness apps.
When signing up for her fitness apps, she uses the same password. And not just the same password for fitness apps, but other online services as well.
Cyber Tip: Separate your passwords and use a different one for each account. Sometimes, fitness apps or other services can suffer data breaches that compromise emails, usernames and passwords. Having different passwords prevents exposing access to all your accounts if one of them were to be breached.
John, The Marathon Man
John is training for a marathon. Every morning he wakes up and puts on his fitness gear, including a fitness tracker equipped with GPS. As he leaves the house, he ‘activates’ his run. His tracker links back to an app that allows him to see how far he runs over a period of time.
With 3 weeks to go, John is proud of his progress. He shares his tracked runs regularly with others.
Cyber Tip: Be proud of your exercise achievements. Just make sure you know what you are sharing. John is giving away where he lives. Some trackers also enable you to block certain ‘zones’ in the city so they don’t share any activity in those areas. Make your home, office or other personal places a blocked zone.
Mary, The Spin Master
Mary cycles to go to work, meet up with friends, go to the grocery store… everywhere and anywhere she can. To help her plan her journey and take cycle-friendly routes, she uses an app. In addition to helping her track cycle rides, the app allows her to check out routes others post and spotlight her own routes.
While Mary keeps her profile private, she is passionate about sharing her rides with others. Every time she gets a request to be followed, she accepts.
Cyber Tip: Before you accept a request, make sure you know who they are. Many fitness apps or devices allow you to manage and remove friends/followers you may not know. Some platforms are similar to social media and may even allow you to differentiate between friends and followers.
Fitness apps and trackers can help you reach your goals. Just keep these cyber tips in mind and make sure you’re managing what you share and with whom helps limit public information about you.
Public information or information from data leaks can be used by cyber criminals in targeted phishing messages. John may receive a text from a criminal pretending to be a local sports shop telling him to click on a link to redeem a free runner’s gift that leads him to a fake website that collects sensitive information. Mary may friend a criminal who uses their ‘friendship’ to send her an email asking her to download some cool cyclist videos… which instead turn out to be malware.
Don’t stop sharing. Just think before you share. Be discrete online.