Does Your Smart Home Include Smart Security?
Updated on July 13, 2021: From now on, traffic filtering, malware protection, and suspicious DNS activity blocking are available as a part of the separate DNS Firewall app.
Nowadays, a lot of us buy gadgets as a sign of status, not because of their functionality. As a result, we have houses full of technologies such as smart TV, thermostat, fridge, security cameras, garage-door openers, and we feel ourselves very comfortable with it. Also known as home automation or smart home, it allows us to control and manage all devices remotely. It seems like nothing can go wrong when everything is so convenient. But in a chase for technological development, we may be missing one important thing.
According to PWC, the second biggest concern for 17% of US respondents who don’t want to own smart devices is safety. But at the same time, 48% of Canadian respondents don’t care about any data leakage risks at all. Due to such a dispersion of opinions, social discussion on this topic becomes a must. Smart home doesn’t mean safe home. The truth is, besides all of the advantages, our gadgets can cause a number of issues, both hilarious and creepy. Let’s review them and assess the level of danger.
Price of convenience
Home automation achieves ever new heights and can do almost everything by becoming more and more intelligent: it can talk to us, listen to us, record us, and a lot more. Its possibilities make our life much easier. Sadly, as we all know, there’s always a price to pay. And it is not always measured in money. Here is your bill:
- Necessary information. Even state-of-the-art technologies can misunderstand you and misinterpret your request. For example, if your significant other has more than one mobile number, don’t demonstrate Siri’s power in their presence. Or else one day following your request Siri, please call my wife, she’ll answer Which one?
- Peace of mind. Before you know it, technologies integrate in our lives and become its essential part. And sometimes this could annoy other family members. Do you know Alexa, a cloud-based voice service from Amazon? Well, as some couples complain, Alexa sometimes gets to feel like a second girlfriend. If you talk to her too much, turn your attention to your beloved person. Are you sure they’re not jealous?
- Control over your devices. What can we say here? If you don’t want to lose the ability to manage your home remotely, make sure you don’t drop your smartphone in the toilet.
- Privacy. Here’s a real-life story about a popular smart fridge from a certain well-known brand. Among its attributes is a touch screen that allows you to manage it. One unlucky owner of this device found out that his fridge was hacked. The guy wanted to add some tasks to his schedule, but instead of typical wallpapers he saw a lot of dirty doodles and messages like See you tonight XX. Even though this time it was merely a prank, the situation still feels quite creepy.
Same as our hero with the fridge, your smart-home gadgets can be hacked. And then there is chance that you won’t get off that easy. For instance, cyber criminals may hack your thermostat or video surveillance systems in order to blackmail you. If they get access to those, they will be able to manage them remotely just like you. Just imagine how much blackmail material they can get.
Another hackers’ goal can be cryptojacking. If you have lots of gadgets, malefactors can use them as a mining farm. As a result, you’ll only be able to suspect something when you get an unusually high monthly bill. Also, they may open your electronic lock, turn off your fire alarms and fire suppression systems, easily walk by your door and take anything they want. All in all, the risks are limited only by hackers’ fantasy.
There is a huge variety of smart devices to make your home convenient, but are there any devices to make your home secure? As Joshua Corman from I Am The Cavalry organization stated, If my PC is hit by a cyber-attack, it is a nuisance; if my car is attacked, it could kill me. As a result, the protection of your home automation becomes crucial. So, what solution can we offer?
In order to protect your smart devices you should secure your home network. The best decision here is to set up a virtual private network, like VPN Unlimited, on your WiFi router. This will automatically protect all your devices in your network without the need to set up the app on each of your devices device. This kind of protection enciphers all your WiFi traffic, so no cyber criminal will be able to take control of your smart home.
If you have any question about setting up VPN Unlimited on your WiFi router, see our article on this topic. Alternatively, feel free to contact us at [email protected]