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In today's world of pervasive technology, it seems like just about every electronic device is connected to the internet. Your smartphone wirelessly stores photos in the cloud, your home security cameras can broadcast their signal to your computer at work, and the traffic lights on your morning commute are monitored remotely over the web. Even otherwise analog items like door locks, watches, and refrigerators now offer internet connectivity.
This worldwide network of devices, appliances, vehicles, buildings, and other items exchanging data over the web is commonly known as the internet of things (IoT). The internet of things is truly massive, with billions or even trillions of embedded communications chips in devices like Bluray players, thermostats, and medical devices. While the IoT can certainly make life easier and more convenient, it also has led to some major security concerns.
The following infographic from Conosco does a great job explaining the internet of things, and also outlines its development and growth. Click here to view a full-size version.
Unsurprisingly, the U.S. is in the top 5 countries for IoT-connected devices per capita, and the number of these devices is growing daily. Admittedly, the likelihood of a Terminator-esque singularity of self-aware robots, cars, and drones is slim to none. However, there are definitely enough valid security concerns to make you think twice when you ask yourself, does my fridge really need WiFi?