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Friday fun for the IT crowd: The spookiest technologies

October 31, 2014

We couldn’t resist: Halloween is a great time to explore the scariest technologies creeping and crawling into our lives right now. Don’t look behind you!

SCARY: When your phone decides to tell itself to let hackers in

Speech control for computers and smartphones may have opened the door to some big security problems. Georgia Tech researchers demonstrated how hackers could bypass security controls. In one demo, they used a recorded voice to fool Google Now, Android’s voice assistant, into thinking it was the user and accepting voice commands. In another, hackers used spoken commands through Windows' speech recognition software, obtaining a high level of security access.

SCARIER: When your hospital lets hackers in

Healthcare represents a data goldmine—and a potential privacy nightmare, as many healthcare providers are years behind in ensuring the privacy of data. Websense reports information security breaches at healthcare organizations have increased 600 percent in the past year.

SCARIEST: Digital fingerprints you can never erase

Billed a marketer’s dream, the ability to use your online behavior patterns in combination with other bits of data will make anonymous Internet browsing a thing of the past. Erased your cookies? It doesn't matter. Big Data makes it possible to figure out who you are at least 80 percent of the time anyway—even on your mobile phone. Combine that with increasing abilities to store and analyze data, and your digital history just got more permanent, more predictive—and more public. 

Think that's frightening? Try negotiating for a higher salary! (We give you some hints for making it less scary).

Lisa Dare is a marketing writer for TEKsystems who enjoys learning about IT from some of the smartest folks in tech. She frequently blogs about IT career advice and the lighter side of tech, and on her off days loves to kayak and play with her toddler son.

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