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Are You a Brave Investor? Read On

The Internet of Things is already influencing health care, industrial companies, automobiles, oil and gas, agriculture, aviation, and other industries. It is changing the way patients , and it will certainly .

Source: GE Look Ahead..

The Internet of Things is already influencing health care, industrial companies, automobiles, oil and gas, agriculture, aviation, and other industries. It is changing the way patients take their medication , and it will certainly change the way we all drive .

GE says the Internet of Things will add up to $15 trillion to global GDP by 2030, and Cisco Systems says the cost savings and total revenue created by the IoT will reach $19 trillion over the next decade. If you still think the IoT is all hype, check out these additional IoT statistics .

But, yes, big opportunities often come with some risk. And this is where the brave part comes in.

Let's not sugarcoat it

First, it is difficult to project what the IoT will be worth 10 to 15 years from now, and that can lead to overly aggressive revenue predictions and cost savings estimates. For example, IDC predicts that the Internet of Things will be a $7.1 trillion business by 2020. That is less than half Cisco's estimate, but it's still a huge amount.

Second, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to be a bit hesitant about the Internet of Things. The Pew Research Center interviewed educators and tech experts about the IoT last year, and a handful of respondents feared the worst.

Everything will need to be secure. Source: .

Everything will need to be secure. Source: Piktochart .

"The effects will be widespread but pernicious. We might as well inject ourselves into the Internet of Things. By 2025, we will have long ago given up our privacy," according to college professor Peter Jacoby.

Privacy and security are probably two of the biggest concerns with the IoT. HP says that nearly 70% of connected home devices are not sufficiently secure, which opens up users to serious privacy infringements. One recent example is of a hacker who tapped into a wireless baby monitor and started talking to the baby in its crib.

Of course, companies aren't immune to hacking, either. Malwarebytes Labs, which makes anti-malware products, said that this year, "Both mainstream media and the general public will hear about the first major hacker attack against an Internet connected device (that was previously not connected)." So far this hasn't happened on a large scale, but considering all the hacking in the recent past (think Heartbleed Bug and Target 's data breach), it seems inevitable that IoT devices will be hackers' next target.

Even Cisco acknowledges the challenges. "It is also, unfortunately, too easy to imagine how these world-changing developments could go terribly wrong when attacked or corrupted by bad actors," the then-senior vice president of Cisco's security business, Christopher Young, wrote on the company's blog last year.

But let's not forget that any new technology poses new uncertainties that have to be addressed. Each of us allows a certain amount of risk in order to reap a technological benefit -- for example, the danger of identity theft through online banking. But the Internet of Things has much more potential upside than it does drawbacks.

And that's why brave investors should consider adding the IoT to their investments. No, everything won't go smoothly with the tech, but there are plenty of ways to invest in the Internet of Things no matter what your risk tolerance . The world's leading companies have already jumped into the IoT, and it's time for adventurous investors to do the same.

This $19 trillion industry could destroy the Internet

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The article Are You a Brave Investor? Read On originally appeared on Fool.com.

Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com and Cisco Systems. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, General Electric Company, and International Business Machines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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