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20Apr 2016

Is a smart home a smart move?

Smart home

Each and every day automated, or rather ‘smart’, homes are becoming more and more of a reality. And although the ‘internet of things’ isn’t a part of every household just quite yet, it’s definitely not sci-fi either.

Not only will the house of the future be automated to regulate its temperature, or switch on lights at scheduled times, but you will be able to sync your appliances to your house and schedule. Can you just imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, every single morning? Yum.

‘Smart’ homes offer a futuristic approach to living and have the ability to streamline a lot of our daily tasks. They also have the ability to give you extra peace of mind.

Did I turn off the stove? Did you turn off the lights? Honey, is the door locked?

Your smart home will be able to check in with you and you will know immediately when your smoke detector is triggered, or if your door was left open. And better yet, if the door is suddenly opened after it was securely closed, you could even possibly prevent a break-in, even from miles away. Talk about a security system.

Although there are a lot of perks that come with a ‘smart’ home, there are also a lot of dangers (which aren’t always considered).

Your house will have to be controlled from somewhere, and that somewhere is most likely from an app conveniently located on your phone or tablet. And anything with an IP address can be hacked. Only this time, instead of spamming your Facebook friends or planting a virus on your computer, they could potentially fiddle with your lights, flush your toilet or even leave your front door wide-open for anyone to waltz in. And what about misplacing your phone? There will be a lot more at risk than just your personal information and private photos. You could essentially be handing someone the keys to your home.

If you do upgrade to a ‘smart’ home in the near future, here are a few tips to secure it:

  • Only buy products that are made by companies you trust. This is one of those times where you don’t necessarily opt for the cheapest option. Rather buy devices that are well established in the marketplace which are backed by a company that takes security seriously.
  • Treat your smart home products like you would any other computer in your home. Make sure you are updating the software as updates are released and changing your password regularly.

Until stricter security standards are put in place the most effective way to avoid getting your ‘smart’ home hacked, is to simply avoid buying smart home products, but no matter what your home’s IQ, just make sure it’s fully covered by the king.