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Fitness wearables like Fitbit and Nike Fuel are vulnerable to hacking

That new Fitbit, Garmin Vivosmart or Nike Fuel band you got for Christmas? It’s a cool way to track your steps and calories burned, but it can also be used by hackers to track you.

Wearables that track you and then transmit the data to your phone through Bluetooth are particularly vulnerable, according to a Symantec study on wearable security. Hackers can intercept the information as it is transmitted.

In general, the more places your data is stored, the more easily it can be hacked into. If you’re also linking your bracelet to social media, add more hacking risk.

• But why would someone want this information?

It goes beyond the normal name, birthdate, gender and address information that is collected on social media sites to paint a detailed picture of you. Your fitness bracelet might reveal your sleeping patterns, information about your health and when you are most active. The more complete the picture an identity thief has, the better.

Plus, information on habits has obvious value to marketers, and government agencies interested in tracking individuals might want it too.

And perhaps worst of all, many fitness bracelets that use Bluetooth can be easily used to track your location, Symantec found.

What can you do to ensure your bracelet isn’t leaking information? Symantec has some suggestions.

• Make a strong, unique password for the app that collects your bracelet’s information.

• Avoid sharing location info from your bracelet on social media, if it has that feature.

• Turn off Bluetooth when you can.

• Make sure you are using fitness apps that have a privacy policy, and read it.