Smart home security technology was designed to help the average homeowner make their home more secure — but recent news has indicated that these same devices can leave people more vulnerable than they realized.
News reports in the last several weeks have revealed that people across the country are having their smart home security devices hacked. For example, the Washington Post reported that a Ring camera that was installed in a child's bedroom was accessed by a hacker, who subsequently took to harassing the small child in their room. Popular Mechanics reported that Google, which is the parent company for the Nest smart devices, acknowledges that there has been an increase in camera hacking and that consumers should make an effort to update their technology to protect themselves.
Why Has There Been an Increase in Hacking Incidents Associated with Smart Home Security Devices?
In the last several years, smart home security devices have become the latest must-have gadgets for the average homeowner. People love that they can purchase a relatively affordable device, such as a Ring doorbell or a Nest home security camera, and enjoy instant connectivity with their property no matter where they are.
However, as the number of users of these devices grew exponentially, it seems to appear that there was an increase in security issues. Recent news articles have brought these cybersecurity issues to the forefront, but it's important to remember that there are hundreds upon thousands of devices installed around the country. Only a select few have been subject to cybersecurity attacks. One point of vulnerability is a person’s home Wi-Fi set up, which is often set to the router’s default, less secure settings or has the factory default password. Home security systems that use independent cellular data rather than Wi-Fi are, generally, more secure.
Homeowners should be aware of the possibility of these types of attacks, and they should take extra precautions to protect themselves, their family members who reside in the home and their property.
Smart Home Security Tips to Help Protect You
These tips can help homeowners who have purchased Wi-Fi enabled smart home security devices, like the Ring or Nest, protect themselves against hackers:
Create secure passwords, and use different passwords for each smart home security device. As with any online account, it's important that users create a password that is secure. Often, a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters in addition to numbers and special characters is recommended. Avoid using obvious phrases or combinations, such as birthdays or family names.
Enable two-factor authorization on all smart home security devices. Two-factor authorization requires a user to provide multiple credentials before accessing the device or its data.
Be mindful of potential phishing scams. These scams are designed to collect data from users so that hackers can access their equipment.
While these devices are designed to protect homeowners and residents, they do have features that can leave people feeling vulnerable or uncertain of their benefits. By staying aware of the most recent security issues and recognizing when it is time to update the software for the device, homeowners can often prevent these situations from happening in their own homes.
How to Select the Best Smart Home Security System
Homeowners who are in the market for a smart home security device have a lot to consider. For many, the obvious choices are the only ones that they are aware of. They know that Amazon has produced artificial intelligence technology that has delivered good results, and that Google's Nest system is beloved by many. However, there may be another smart home security system that is a better option.
The REAX Smart Home Solution is a smart home security system that offers many of the same features of those popular models while also including added security measures. This is a smart home security system that does not rely on Wi-Fi, rather, it operates using cellular data. This offers additional protection against hackers and is ultimately more difficult to infiltrate. REAX also offers a back-up battery so that homeowners can still use their security devices and access their data even in the event of a power outage or Internet outage. While no smart home solution is 100% secure, we believe the REAX system is less vulnerable to hacking attacks.
As Amazon and Google continue to race to release innovative home automation devices and smart technology systems, it's important that you focus on creating a home that is both efficient and secure. Choosing the right smart home security system is critical to keeping your family safe and your property secure. For more information on the REAX Smart Home Solution, contact HomeWorks Energy today.