Are we truly ready for a connected environment?

I have a Google Home Mini, and one of the coolest things about having that connected with my lights, home security camera, and chromecast, are the conveniences they provide. From my phone I can see if I left a light on and turn it off from miles away. Or if I am expecting building maintenance, I can see when they enter and exit, or even talk to them live through my camera and Google Home (something that may startle them). This is the world we live in now, a world where we connect to our devices from across the globe. But are we truly ready for this world?

With 5G on the horizon, one of the big selling points for 5G has been IOT (internet of things). More devices will be connected to be able to talk to each other. Vehicles, traffic signals, street signs, appliances, and more. This kind of technology bring a lot of promises. But they also bring fears and concerns.

The one concern to being connected is if your connection is compromised. That means that a single hacker could hijack a person’s car, house, and everything connected, and refuse to let it go without the victim paying them.

Just imagine the scenario where your car is being controlled remotely from some hacker in China, or another country, and you and your loved ones are being steered into doom. Then over the phone or radio the assailant demands x amount of dollars. Failure to comply would mean death for you and your family.

These are fears that tech companies are working to make unlikely, but the reality is it’s possible. We know this because there are several videos where people have been able to hack cars like Teslas. Thankfully Tesla was able to learn from those hacks and send out an update to close the exploits. But the reality is that there may always be an exploit in which some hacker may use to gain access to a particular program or device. And with top companies like Google, Facebook, and financial institutions getting compromised, we know that the possibilities are there.

Despite the obvious concerns, that still have me excited about the tech to come. As cities aim to get smarter, we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible for technology. Those boundaries do come with some obvious fears and concerns, but we will grow through them. And I can’t wait to see the outcomes of this new connected world we are entering.

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