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Internet of Things (IoT) 17 July 2018

Smart Shopping Starts Today!

By Lia KiesslingFormer Senior Director, Individual Membership and Giving

Let’s face it – things are different now than when we were kids.

I grew up with technology. My weekends consisted of frantically switching out floppy disks while on 13-inch-green-screen missions to destroy cubism-esque dragons, orcs and whatever else I could with my wizard powers. It taught me critical reasoning, innovative thinking, and gave me the courage to try new things.

Now that I’m a mom, I’m an advocate for my kids to use tech. But today’s tech is different. Now the Internet is everywhere and it’s a part of our everyday lives, in everyday things. Coffeemakers, toothbrushes, toasters, televisions and, yes – even teeth.

Did you ever think we’d have connected homes, let alone bras that might detect breast cancer?

These everyday things are known as the Internet of Things – IoT for short. It’s already everywhere.

Manufacturers are building connected things faster than most of us can keep up. While that means there’s lots of cool things hitting the shelves, many haven’t been built with our security or privacy in mind. That’s why we hear stories ranging from the somewhat humorous to the terrifying.

But we’re hungry for IoT devices – buying them as fast as manufacturers can release them. And it’s our kids who are leading the charge.

Generation Z (people born between the mid-90s and mid-2000s) is already on track to become the largest consumer generation by the year 2020. They account for $29 to $143 billion in direct spending.

Gen Zers are more connected than any of us. For them, it’s not a pastime but a lifestyle.

One  study found that 74% of Gen Z respondents spend their free time online – five hours or more a day for a quarter of them – and 73% use mobile devices to text and chat socially with family and friends. Self-reliant “digital natives,” they socialize, learn, and have fun living in a fluid digital world – one in which the boundaries between their online and offline lives are nearly indistinguishable.

Our kids are making the most of this connected world, and as parents, we need to demand they’re protected while doing it. One way is to help our kids (and ourselves) make informed choices when buying IoT devices. And with Amazon Prime Day – a day of discounts taking place this week in many parts of the world – now is a great time to start. Read our smart shopping guide to learn 8 simple steps you can take today.

Whether it’s Prime Day, or any other time of the year, our smart shopping guide is a great start.

These connected things can offer so much opportunity – and they’re really cool! – but only if they’re secure.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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