Does Wyze Steal Your Data?
Wyze has had its share of issues with security and data theft. In 2019, a data breach left some personal information from more than 2 million users exposed. An internet rumor speculates that Wyze sends your private information to China. How Wyze handles data, however, is no secret. Do they “steal” their customers’ data?
While Wyze doesn’t steal your data, understanding who they are and how they deal with these issues is a good idea for those planning to use their products and services.
What Is Wyze?
Wyze is a tech company founded in 2017 in Seattle, Washington, by former Amazon employees. They specialize in wireless cameras, but they also have a full line of smart home products, such as robot vacuums. Wyze hardware is almost exclusively manufactured and assembled in China like most tech companies.
That Chinese connection led to rumors that the company sent personal data to China long before the 2019 data breach when an IP address from China came up in data logs. The incident wasn’t malicious, and Wyze changed its practices regarding data packets to more secure standards.
How Does Wyze Use Customer Data?
Wyze uses customer data according to their terms of service, which includes sending basic – but not personal – data across the internet. The same logs also showed data sent to Japan as well as France.
In 2019, when a Wyze employee left an unsecured path to their customers’ data, the company quickly jumped into action and logged all users out, requiring them to verify their accounts and change their passwords to regain access.
You can also control how much data is used by your Wyze camera.
Is Wyze Safe To Use?
While the measure was effective, the company announced that information, such as the email addresses of their customers, had been breached but that no other personal information was included. The company stressed that they have no access to banking information and other sensitive data without the customer’s express permission or court order.
Yes, Wyze products are considered generally safe to use. While nobody has ever proven – or even tried to prove – that the rumors of Wyze “stealing” data and sending it to China are true, it is widely accepted that the practice that caused the rumor stopped a long time ago.
Can Wyze Be Hacked?
Hacking is a different animal from a data breach. The data breach Wyze experienced is common among tech companies. A data breach at Equifax’s credit reporting company affected 147 million people and ultimately cost the company $575 million in damages. Hacking is when an individual system is the target of malicious intrusion from the outside.
Any device connected to the internet can be hacked. The likelihood that they will be hacked is low, and there are security measures you can take that will help.
Security Settings And Data Flow
Check your camera’s security settings often. If the settings are different than the last time you checked and you didn’t change them, there’s a good chance you’ve been hacked.
A hacked camera tends to exhibit strange behavior. It may rotate on its own or make strange noises.
While these are all indicators that a device is compromised, you should take it to a professional at this point to be sure.
How Can I Minimize The Risk Of My Wyze Being Hacked?
Avoiding online intruders who would hack your things and do you harm is always a good policy. People who approach you on social media, in forums, or by email who you don’t know are a potential risk. Always properly vet anyone to whom you send personal information.
As for your security cameras and other smart devices, be sure to use strong passwords and change them often. Update your device’s firmware whenever possible. Updates have been vital to teaching your system of known hacks since the last update.
You should also be sure that the network you’re using is secure. Use the same vigilance about passwords with your wifi router. Consider using a VPN. Proxy networks shield you from being pinpointed for a specific attack. Include your VPN in your password changing and firmware updating habits.
How Worried Should I Be About Hacks And Data Breaches?
We live in a dangerous virtual world full of predators looking to steal from money, your identity, and even your dignity. That is intimidating. To not worry about those things would be naive and reckless.
However, it doesn’t take a ton of effort to secure your online existence, so you don’t need to worry about hackers stealing your account numbers or data miners figuring out that your password is your address with an exclamation point.