Are Smartwatches Safe? Benefits and Risks Discussed

By human nature, whenever a new technology hits the market, everyone creates a checklist to judge its durability, features, compatibility, and more, regardless of whether the product belongs to the tech industry. So, the factor we’ll be discussing in this blog post, chosen from that particular checklist for smartwatches, is: “Are smartwatches safe?”

Check real scientific facts about smartwatch safety. From worries about radiation to skin getting irritated and red, we explain common misconceptions to help you decide why a smartwatch is a good choice.

Smartwatch Safety Concerns: Are Smartwatches Safe?

Why does the question of smartwatch safety arise? Regarding the safety of smartwatches, there are several concerns to consider. These concerns can be divided into two parts Health and Security or privacy.

Health Risks of Smartwatches

1. Electromagnetic radiation (EMF):

A smartwatch emits a low level of EMF radiation, which is non-ionizing. This means it will not damage DNA or cause cellular issues like ionizing rays (e.g., X-rays or gamma rays). These non-ionizing radiations only emit when you are using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Some experts suggest that long-term low-level EMF exposure may compound and cause some health issues. But the most interesting thing is that the same goes for smart TVs, smartphones, laptops, and even kitchen appliances.

So, will you stop using all these things? Of course not, because these radiations are negligible for health in daily life. So don’t think about are Smartwatches Safe.

2. Skin irritation:

It is not that much of a considerable issue. Everyone knows that wearing a smartwatch too tightly will cause skin irritation, which can create friction and pressure on the skin. However, the material used for smartwatch bands can also be a factor in skin irritation, especially if they contain nickel or other allergens.

3. Sleep disruption:

There are some issues to consider; one of the common issues is wearing a smartwatch at night to monitor sleep patterns. Users may become anxious or fixated on achieving certain sleep goals, which can lead to increased stress levels and difficulty falling asleep. 

Second, is the smartwatch screen light, which may affect the sleep of smartwatch users, particularly if worn to bed, and can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone crucial for sleep regulation.

The second and third issue, which are very common and related to smartphones, is that the presence of notifications and alerts on smartwatches can also disrupt sleep.

4. Overdependence:

Usage of the smartwatch is good for basic health monitoring purposes such as measuring footsteps, heart rate, and sleep patterns. However, it may be harmful if you rely on it more than that and do not consider the advice of healthcare professionals. The smartwatch measures these metrics with the help of sensors and algorithms, which may not always be correct. Therefore, seeking professional medical advice is important when needed.

Security & Privacy Concerns of Smartwatches

are smartwatches safe

1. Data Collection & transmission of Smartwatch:

Smartwatches collect a wide range of data such as your health-related data like heart rate, sleep patterns, steps taken, calories burned, and other fitness metrics. GPS can track your location, and communication-related data like messages, call logs, and email notifications. A smartwatch collects more than that; it also gathers other data usage like apps used, time spent on various activities, and interaction patterns.

When data collection finishes, the next step is data transmission. It often transfers from the smartwatch to the smartphone via Bluetooth, which is not properly secured. It also transfers from the smartwatch to the cloud server for storage or processing, which is safe enough but not completely secure.

Imagine a smartwatch app that uses an API like a special door to get your health data. If the door has a weakness (insecure API), a hacker can steal your health information or even manipulate data.

Device Vulnerabilities:

It is risky to keep your smartwatch non-updated, which can expose your smartwatch to exploits. Smartwatches can be targeted by malware because of third-party apps installed from unverified sources.

Physical Access:

If your smartwatch has been lost and is not properly secured with passwords or encryption, then it is easily accessible for someone to use your data.

The smartwatch can be used as part of a two-factor authentication system for other devices, adding an extra security layer, but it can be used against you if someone gains physical access. 

8 Quick Tips to Overcome Smartwatch Security & Privacy Concerns

  1. Always ensure that your phone’s apps, operating systems & smartwatch software are always updated.
  2. Create strong and distinguishable passwords, not the same ones you use for other devices & websites; as a result, you should have an offline record of credential documents.
  3. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown emails. First of all check information on the sender.
  4. It is standard procedure for smartwatches (and any other similar devices) that are not used to perform sensitive transactions via public networks (wi-fi).
  5. Check the access given by those applications which are unnecessary. For example, if you have installed a microphone application for recording sound then it must only have permission to access the microphone and nothing else like contacts or camera etc.
  6. when it comes to downloading third-party apps, you gotta be careful, you know? I mean, if these apps are so trustworthy, why aren’t they available on official app stores? It’s because there’s always a risk of unexpected attacks
  7. Regularly monitor your data-sharing settings in your companion app for the Smartwatch.
  8. Disable the Bluetooth function and avoid connecting with strangers’ devices.


To sum up, smartwatches have legitimate concerns about security, privacy, and physical health risks but are nonetheless important in the modern world. EMF radiation concerns and skin allergies notwithstanding, there is a scientific consensus that suggests very few risks associated with these devices are similar to those of everyday gadgets such as smartphones.

What is more, the challenges of sleep loss and overreliance relate more to how an individual uses them than the intrinsic faults of these devices—thus can be controlled through cautious application. While data security threats remain high, basic cyber protection measures can go a long way in reducing them. Finally, they are highly convenient since they serve as tools for fitness tracking, giving notifications on various things including security issues.

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