BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Before you buy the latest smart gadget this Black Friday — think before you shop — a message from LSU students, conducting a cyber experiment.
The group was able to hack into several smart devices, pointing out privacy issues that consumers aren’t always aware of.
“The question you should ask yourself on this Black Friday is how much more of your privacy do you want to give away?” questioned Professor Abraham Baggili, Louisiana State University Cybersecurity.
According to Finder, 28% of Americans participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping to buy electronics. Though there are some pros to having the latest smart device — experts say your privacy could be at stake.
“So you could also easily find the route someone takes to work every day, where they live, there’s also a time stamp, so you can see when they’re at these places too,” explained LSU Ph.D. student Lauren Pace.
LSU computer science students are showing devices like AirTag, iRobot, and Roombas can be helpful but can also be very dangerous. Professor Abe Baggili, says his biggest tip is just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it is the best.
“Look at, you know, what comes with it,” he said. “Look at the privacy policies that come with it, where that device came from, and read the reviews.”
Household items, with smartphone technology, can also pose a threat.
“One of the features of the application is that it allows users to review obstacles detected so that you can market them as a temporary obstacle, permanent obstacle, or just a mistake because this is a timestamped photograph of evidence of a crime,” claimed Sarah Buckley, an LSU Master’s student.
Students are also warning people of fake social media accounts selling products.
“They’re very easy to use. You don’t need to learn anything or do anything that’s just uploading an image on the project so it does a little work for you,” expressed Marcelina Kazigati, another LSU Master’s student.
Technology has made things easier in our everyday lives but LSU cyber students say, it has also made it easier for criminals.