home automation

How To Stay Safe When Using Smart Home Automation Technology

Leaving your lights on is not as scary as leaving your door unlocked. If you can’t call a neighbor to check up on your house, you have to find a way to go back to your house. But if you had eyes on your home 24/7, would it be easier? If you could use your phone to check that the lights are off, why not? And what if a system could automatically turn off your lights when you leave and even notify you?

This is what smart home automation does and more. Smart home technology coordinates all your devices to automatically turn off your lights, lock your doors, arm your security system, adjust your thermostat, close your garage door and let you see what’s going on in the house while you are away. Smart home technology was created to keep your home safe and automate redundant duties, saving you time and money in the long run. Corporations, too, have adopted smart home automation technologies to reap these benefits. Statistic estimates that by 2025 there will be up to 481.9 million smart homes.

But are smart home technologies safe to use? Critics have raised privacy concerns because smart home devices collect your information. And they are connected wirelessly through the internet. Can your smart home devices get hacked? According to the Avast Smart Home Security Report 2019, 40.8% of all smart homes have at least one vulnerable device. Each device you add to your smart home network (whether it’s lighting, thermostats, TV, cameras, etc.) increases vulnerability.

These are the risks of using smart home technologies, but what is life without risks?

Safety Tips For Smart Home Automation

Here’s how to mitigate risks and stay safe when using smart home automation technology:

Strong, Unique Passwords For All Your Devices.

You have to change the default username and passwords. Any of your family member’s names or birthdates are weak passwords. But you don’t have to come up with out-of-the-world passwords. You only need to make them unique. It’s better if you use a full sentence or number combinations or names that are unrelated to anything that identifies you or your family members. If it’s something meaningful, you can’t forget it.

If you are afraid that you might forget it, write it down and memorize it. If you have to say it out loud a couple of times, do it. Just remember to burn or shred the piece of paper you write your password after memorizing.  You should also change your passwords periodically (e.g., after three months) and enable two-factor authentication (e.g., sending a one-time-pin to your email when logging in).

Source From A Transparent Manufacturer

Most smart home automation providers use their own motion sensors, cameras, thermostats, and other devices to provide a central control function, e.g., using an app to control the system.
A recognized and transparent smart home automation provider will inform you of everything to do with each device’s security measure to clear up any doubts. The devices should conform to standards like Zigbee or Security 2. And if you will use an app to monitor and control your home remotely, is the app safe from attacks? Ask your provider about their application’s security measures.

One question you have to ask your provider is their privacy policy. The privacy policy dictates how the provider handles your private information. Some smart home automation providers like Smiththompson.com provide 24/7 security monitoring so that when your security alarm goes off, they will call you immediately.
Such great perks of home automation are luring. But you need to know and agree with how your provider uses all the information they gather about you.

Additionally, secure your phone using strong passwords, a spyware application, activate remote clean up in case of theft, and install all security updates.

Secure your home Wi-Fi

Though an attacker would have to be in the Wi-Fi range, you still need to take the following steps to secure your Wi-Fi:

  • Set a strong, unique router password
  • Set up a firewall to restrict access to your router
  • Use a VPN (a virtual private network) to encrypt information on your network
  • Create a guest network to isolate the home automation network
  • Do not access your smart home devices using public Wi-Fi
  • Turn Off Remote Monitoring Whenever You Don’t Need It

Using an app to monitor your house is convenient, but remote monitoring provides a gateway for unauthorized access. Whenever you are not actively monitoring your house remotely, turn off remote monitoring.  Your smart home security begins and ends with you. Make the right choices.