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Should We Be Concerned About the Security and Privacy Risks of VR and AR?

AR/VR devices that are part of the Internet of Things are rapidly rising. An issue consumers are now facing is whether there are security and privacy risks they should be concerned about.


The capability of virtual and augmented reality is allowing humans to fully immerse themselves in computer-generated worlds unlike any technological capabilities in the past. But, the rapid development and innovation of technology have left many consumers wondering about whether or not their information is safe when using such devices.

The revolutionary systems of virtual and augmented reality have left many consumers worried about their private information being accessed in the digital world. Given that their biometric data such as iris or retina scans, fingerprints, face geometry, handprints, and voiceprints are needed to experience the realism of virtual and augmented reality.

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You have to keep in mind that there are still plenty of loopholes that can be accessed by hackers to collect the data of many consumers as they immerse themselves in computer-generated worlds. But, little do they also know that a lot of testings, research, and actions have already been taken or are being taken by developers to prevent such risks from happening.

Let’s further discuss the security and privacy risks of VR and AR, and whether or not we should really be concerned about them.

Security and Privacy Concerns with Virtual and Augmented Reality

Any device connected to the Internet of Things, such as the virtual and augmented reality one, has most likely been designed and developed without covering the essential security mechanisms. The concerns of many consumers can be linked to the Mirai malware that connected almost every user’s webcams or cameras to a botnet.

Consumers think that the issue of the Mirai malware can happen with virtual and augmented reality headsets and devices due to being IP-enabled. Another concern that people keep bringing up is the unencrypted data being passed from the VR and AR devices and their dedicated servers, similar to what happened with the OpenSim platform.

It’s given that technologies nowadays collect our data as well as digital footprints for businesses and other industries to incorporate that data to improve their processes. From the everyday devices we use, such as phones, computers, laptops, and gaming devices, someone might be able to track what we’re doing almost all the time.

Actions Taken To Make AR and VR Completely Safe

Years have passed by since the development of augmented and virtual reality headsets and devices but potential security issues haven’t been completely brought up. That’s because there are no clear instructions as to how users’ private information can be completely safe while using augmented and virtual reality headsets and devices.

However, many developers and big tech companies are already aware of security issues that were never addressed before by IT professionals. As a result, newly developed AR or VR headsets and devices include a private mode feature. The private mode feature is preventing the headset or device from recording data as you immerse in the computer-generated worlds.

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Developers involved in the enhancements of augmented and virtual reality need to create a centralized content system. Creating a centralized content system for AR and VR can allow the encryption of inbound and outbound sending of pieces of information between the devices and the server.

What Else Can You Do?

The only way for users of AR and VR to know whether there really are security and privacy risks while immersing in the computer-generated worlds is to take precautionary measures. Precautionary measures, such as thorough research about the AR and VR headset or device’s manufacturer, and the firmware and software they’re using to make sure it’s well protected.


As of now, there is no concrete information as to how safe we can be when using augmented and virtual reality. Since there are a lot of cybersecurity risks with using not just the AR and VR devices, but also technological devices linked to servers and networks, we have to be aware that we’ll always be prone to cybersecurity risks.

Taking actions by not exposing yourself too much digitally is one of the most effective security control, defense, and protection you can use to prevent security and privacy risks from happening.

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About the Guest Author(s)

Should We Be Concerned About the Security and Privacy Risks of VR and AR?
Edward James Fortaleza
Writer | | + posts

Edward James Fortaleza is a regular freelance writer for who likes to write about digital marketing, technology, home improvement, and fashion. He is a writer by day, and a binge reader by night. Edward James also likes to travel to different beaches.