Tracking devices help you find lost items - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Tracking devices help you find lost items

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A new device can helps you track every object you typically can't find.  Keys, tablets, phones, wallet, checkbook.  This new technology is a bluetooth powered sticker thinner than a quarter. 

Whenever you have a technology that makes life easier, you have to ask yourself, could this technology betray me?  In the wrong hands, could making my wallet or keys easier to find do the same for a bad guy?  WBTV's cyber expert, Theresa Payton asks, "What happens when the trackers betray you?" : 

HOW IT WORKS:

1.  The trackers can now be made as small as stickers.

Their internal batteries last roughly 12 months, and they are bluetooth enabled.

2.  You tag the object that you don't want to lose by placing the sticker on it and then you can see them on an app

3.  The app notes the distance and if you decide an object is too far away, you can tap the app and the sticker on the object will light up and buzz

4.  Criminals are testing how to break into bluetooth enabled devices every day and are prepared to capitalize on this technology.  They call this bluesnarfing when criminals "listen in" on your bluetooth broadcasts

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:

It's okay if you decide to use this time saving and potentially device protecting technology.  Just ask your manufacturer first how they protect the bluetooth signal so it doesn't broadcast to everyone and only you.

WEB RESOURCES:

Bluetooth finder as small as a sticker is in development.  See it on Mashable here.

See a video, here.   

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently wrote a paper on how to protect bluetooth.  Read it here

WORD OF THE WEEK:

Replyallpocalypse

You hit "reply all" but type a message that you really only intended for 1 person.  For example, it might be a snarky message regarding a memo your boss just wrote or your best friend sent, it could be your replyallpocalypse!  Protect yourself from a replyallpocalypse by following the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and double check the options you chose for a reply before hitting send.

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