The Internet of Things, or IoT, has made our homes much smarter and our lives much more convenient and easy. It connects all of our home devices and appliances through the internet and allows us to manage them remotely. But, have you ever stopped to think about whether this convenience is actually secure?

Smart home technologies and IoT devices are a great addition to our homes, but they also raise the question of security risks. Are you exposing yourself more to another kind of risk such as cybersecurity risks? You feel more secure and protected when you automate everything, get high-tech gadgets, and put passwords on everything you are trying to protect. But are you really more protected that way?

Have we made our lives more convenient, but less secure?

 

Where Is the Source of the Problem?

The first part of the problem is the market. The market and the manufacturers are failing you as a consumer in the way that they do not provide enough information about the security of the product. They don’t emphasize the (lack) of security of the device they’re selling. Their main goal is to sell and profit, so they appeal to your sense of aesthetics and convenience. If the product is functional, or even better, multifunctional, and it looks appealing, the chances are that you’re going to buy it. And the fact is that you, as a buyer and consumer, think mostly about how easier your life will be with that device, and rarely about how secure it is.

And right there is the other part of the problem – you, the buyer and the consumer. You don’t focus your attention on the ‘details’ and the ‘small print.’ But you should. You should first get informed about the product, its pros and cons, and its mains risks. If it is not clearly stated on the product how to secure it properly, the salesperson should be able to answer your questions. But you have to remember to ask them. Don’t buy the product if everything is not clearly explained, and if you don’t have enough money in your home budget.

 

The Internet of Things

Automating your home, connecting practically every aspect of it to the internet and one main control system is actually a big cybersecurity risk. It makes your home easier to be hacked and burglarized, for example, without even triggering the alarm system. And how does that happen?

Well, a common misconception is that your home system can only be controlled by a remote device that is connected to same Wi-Fi network, the one all of your devices are connected to. But there are other ways hackers can access your system. They use a secondary connection or the manufacturer’s cloud system. Of course, not all systems are the same, and there are always some precautions you can take. Read on to find out what they are.

 

Smart Televisions

When it comes to smart television sets, they can also be a risk to your home security. It does not happen very often, but they can involve some serious invasion of privacy. If you have a front camera on your TV, and most smart TVs in the past years have, hackers can access it to spy on you. There is no need to emphasize how dangerous that can be. They would see a live stream of your room, your movements and the contents of your house. This alone should encourage you to focus more on the products security features.

 

Smart Cars

Smart cars are also becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Manufacturers are constantly upgrading their products to beat their competition and to satisfy the consumer’s needs. But, all of the smart upgrades come with certain risks. The more automated your car is, and the more connected to the internet, the more exposed it is to hackers. They can take control of your commands and access the entire system of your vehicle. That’s why it is important to be well informed and protected in this high-tech age.

 

What Can You Do?

Now that you know some of the biggest risks, let’s find out what you can do to protect yourself and stay secure. Here are some basic tips:

  • Ask questions, do research, and stay well-informed.
  • Use strong passwords, and make sure to change all the default passwords set by the manufacturer.
  • Update your devices regularly with the latest security and software functions.
  • Install firewall and antivirus protection.
  • Install apps that notify you whenever someone is trying to access your network or device, especially if it is someone unidentified – this allows you to either decline their access or call an expert to help you with the problem.
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    Be Smart with Smart Technology

    The most important thing about technology is to be always as educated as possible. If you know what the risks are, then you can prevent them more easily. This does not necessarily mean that you can fix the problem yourself, but at least you will know where and when to look for the issue. Always think about security first when buying IoT or smart, high-tech gadgets. Staying informed, taking precautions, and asking questions are the smartest things to do when it comes to smart technology.

     


    Editor’s Note: This blog article was written by an outside contributor – a guest blogger – for the purpose of offering a wider variety of content for our readers. However, the opinions and recommendations expressed in this guest blog are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Security Awareness Company, LLC. If you are interested in writing something for us, please do not hesitate to contact us: blog@thesecurityawarenesscompany.com.

    Matthew James

    Matt James is a freelance writer specialized in home improvement, smart technology, architecture & design. He has a love of outdoors and spending time with his dog Cooper. You can reach him on Facebook and Instagram.

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