Security and privacy experts uncover hidden threats you need to know about

BU Experts
6 min readOct 24, 2019

Are you putting yourself, family, friends & workplace at risk without realizing?

By Molly Gluck

The Threat Landscape

Around seventy percent of Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, and share information. Further, users typically access social media platforms and consume content on their smartphone, which over 80 percent of Americans report owning. Smartphones are just one of the billions of smart devices that monitor our health, fitness and sleep, secure our homes, tell us the weather and cue up our favorite songs, shows, and movies. However, the convenience of smart phones and instant connectivity of the internet and social media come at a price. Are there security risks hiding within our favorite applications and devices?

In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual initiative spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, we asked Boston University’s privacy and security experts Ari Trachtenberg, Gianluca Stringhini and Ran Canetti to shed light on the top vulnerabilities we need to know about. They covered security and privacy threats consumers and businesses unknowingly expose themselves to, and outlined best-practices for protection in the Q&A below.

Smart Devices and Social Media

Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash (

How can we protect ourselves in a connected world?

“Smart devices quietly nestle well within our comfort zones and into our most private spaces: bedrooms, bathrooms, doctor’s offices, etc. At the same time, they are filled with all kinds of sensors that allow them to record and permanently store all kinds of information about our most private moments. The best way to protect yourself is to be aware of this, and keep all smart devices away from your most intimate environments. I, for example, keep most smart devices (TVs, speakers, etc.) out of my home; the few I cannot avoid (smartphones), I keep in a designated location that does not…

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