Is a Smart Home a Secure Home?
These days just about everything is connected to the internet. But, are smart homes secure homes? That’s a really good question. This holiday season the big items that were on everyone’s list were the smart speakers by Google and Amazon. Simply plug it in and connect to your wifi and now you have access to your books, music, the internet, movies and anything else you associate with those accounts. Add smart devices like a Nest thermostat, outlets, lights, and now home security systems like Vivint.
Using Amazon Echo, homeowners can control the following smart home experiences using the Vivint skill:
• Smart door locks – Through Alexa, customers can find out whether doors are locked and can ask Alexa to lock them.
• Smart security – Customers can ask Alexa whether the security system is enabled and arm the system to “stay” or “away” mode.
• Smart thermostat – Vivint customers can ask Alexa to adjust the temperature through set point changes or by turning the fan on or off.
• Lighting control – Customers can ask Alexa to dim lights or to turn them on or off.
• Garage door – Customers can ask Alexa whether the garage door is open and ask that it be closed.
These are wonderfully convenient tasks that can now be completed through voice activation or an app on your cell phone. The question is, are they secure?
Any system can be hacked, the key to making your system secure is to frequently change passwords, use two and three tiered security passwords and to use biometrics whenever possible.
Of course, never share your passwords.
A smart home can be incredibly convenient. Imagine the peace of mind that comes to a mom or dad who knows when a child has returned from school safely because they can see when the front door has been unlocked, opened, closed and locked again? And if the child forgets to lock the door, it can be done remotely. Having the ability to arm the security system from the office or while on a business trip (because those at home forgot) is priceless.
The smart device market is blowing up right now, and it’s likely that security is lagging behind the technology. Anything can be hacked given enough time and motivation. You can thwart most attacks by using unique and difficult passwords and changing them frequently.