Sex Tech and Security: A Guide to Keeping Your Online Sex Life Private
How to avoid hackers while using interactive sex toys.
If you aren’t concerned about keeping your personal sex tech devices secure, you should be. Most security incidents to date— such as the drama over Lovense's app storing a temporary recording file and Standard Innovation settling a privacy case—have proven to be more alarmist than alarming.
And nothing could be more serious than someone getting a hold of your extremely personal information. Such a breach could include, for example, someone hacking your Internet-of-Things (IoT) sex toy to steal sensitive information like when, how, and how much you’re enjoying it.
So here is a quick guide that offers some basic security techniques to keep your digital sex life safe and, most of all, private.
Don’t connect unless you really want to
Riding the wave of IoT popularity, far too often developers are adding network connectivity to devices that don’t need it. Just because your sex tech can connect to the Internet doesn’t mean it should.
Cheap Bluetooth-enabled vibrators are a perfect example. As the connectivity is an afterthought, just a sticker to put on the box, it usually means that its security is practically non-existent.
Even if sex tech companies appear to take security very seriously, it’s always better to air on the side of caution. Only activate features you’re actually going to use! Similarly, think about how much you really need and want your device if there’s no way to disconnect or fine-tune its connectivity.
Don’t share unless you really want to
Social media sharing is another matter to think about. As with the aforementioned cheap vibrator, way too many developers have added social media sharing into products you may not want to share anything about.
Not only that, you really don’t want someone gaining access to, say, your Facebook account and from there getting into the sex toy you just bought. Social media logins can make registering on sex tech interfaces quick and easy, but it also risks exposing identifiable data about your sexual practices
Ideally, the best form of security for any IoT sex tech device is the option to disconnect it completely. If you do choose to connect it to the Internet, then it should offer multiple layers of certification.
Never use the same password
As with security beyond sex tech, if you do register your device use a unique password. Don’t use the same one you use all the time. Yes, it’s a headache to remember passwords but a small inconvenience is worth not having your virtual sex life ogled by a total stranger.
Be skeptical about the cloud
While just about as popular as the IoT, cloud-based data storage has its own problems. Because of this, try to avoid devices that require your data to be shared anywhere that is less than perfectly secure.
Leaving home—and being safe
Be extra careful when you travel. So you’ve worked hard to make sure your home is iron-clad secure: a solid router, a Virtual Private Network (VPN), and no unsecured devices. Then you go traveling with your smart sex toy and, without a second thought, connect it to the hotel WiFi. The same hotel that has more holes than security. Before you know it, not only does someone know that you brought your smart sex toy on vacation, they also have access to any device you’ve connected it to.
Always thoroughly disconnect your device when you travel—unless you are 100% certain of the security where you are staying. And, even then, think twice before you do it.
Speaking of routers, a good piece of security advice is to create a “guest” network and connect your sex tech gear to that instead of your normal home one. This way if anyone manages to use your device to access your router, they won’t be able to access anything else.
Still, on the subject of routers, many security experts recommend going into the settings and disabling Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). This will help prevent anyone from gaining access to your technology from the outside.
Stay up to date
Finally, always make sure your device’s firmware is up to date. It can definitely be annoying when a patch causes more problems than it supposedly solves. But that doesn’t justify you using wildly out-of-date software. Regularly check that the software on your device is the latest available. If you aren’t sure, get in touch with the company support staff.
All it takes is one security breach
While there haven’t been any major security breaches, and we are a long way from sexbots becoming homicidal murder machines, that doesn’t mean you should take security for granted.
If anything, you want to be extra secure with your IoTsex tech gear. After all, having your social media accounts getting hacked is one thing, but having your sex life being exposed is quite another.
So play safe by playing smart!