Technology runs the world and 2016 was the year to prove it. The internet and the gadgets it runs on were at the centre of several of the year’s biggest stories. From Facebook’s alleged fake news problem to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 recall, technology was at the helm of many top news stories in 2016. Experts warn the year ahead could be even more volatile when it comes to cyberattacks.
I would suspect that sometime in the near future you may see hackers holding your smart home devices for ransom – much like they do now with your computers. The DDOS attack knocked Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon offline revealed that hackers orchestrated the take down using malware to infect “smart” home devices connected to the internet. In other words, your Wi-Fi connected coffee maker or your PVR could be used as a “cyber weapon” by hackers. The bad guys now know that it’s easier to enslave these types of devices, rather than a computer that has anti-virus software installed.
Imagine you come home and your TV is hacked and you want to watch the game. Would you pay 50 bucks to unlock it or let’s say you were in the car and your GPS system got hacked — you need to know where you’re going. Wouldn’t you think about pulling out your credit card and paying them? The easiest way is to change the admin password associated with the device and make sure it’s hard to guess. I know for many of these devices it’s not easy to change nor does it include directions in the package. Unfortunately, for many of these devices, like your PVR, TV, and GPS, you may have to Google it.
According to Telus Health, Canada’s largest health IT company, Canada’s adoption of digital health technology has doubled since 2009, with more doctors eager to use digital patient information in their practice As electronic medical records (EMRs) — a digital chart that holds all of your healthcare history, instead of the traditional paper method — are more widely adopted by family physicians, experts believe preventative medicine will improve Also too, advancements in technology this year with help ensure that data from a patient will move seamlessly across healthcare teams, including doctors, pharmacists and insurance providers, healthcare professionals can become more proactive and focus on preventative medicine, keeping patients healthy rather than simply focusing on treatment once they are sick. The Liberal government’s privatization expert recommended eHealth’s role be refocused more on service delivery, and said patients should be able to interact with their own personal health information.
If you thought today’s ads were in your face, think again. According to some intellectuals at Ryerson University, advertising in virtual reality is going to take shape in 2017. This year it seemed the entire world became obsessed with augmented reality smartphone game Pokemon Go (roughly three in 10 Canadian users agreed the game was “taking over their lives,”) and so I would predict brands will get even more hands on with virtual reality in order to sell customers more products. Canadian Tire is one retailer that has already been experimenting with augmented and virtual reality. This year the company’s spring catalogue allowed users to download an app and use their smartphone or tablet to create a digital replica of what was on the page, complete with more information, product reviews and links to online shopping.