For more than 5 years now we have seen the benefits of connected devices or the Internet of Things, IoT for short. From smart watches and Fit Bits to home appliances and children’s toys, we live in a time where a variety of devices have the ability to latch on to a WiFi or Bluetooth signal and transmit information.
But what about a connected home?
Up until the past few years, the connected home was still something that was reserved for Sci-fi. But recent connected products such as the Nest thermostat, or the Lockitron deadbolt, allow homeowners to control aspects of their home from anywhere in the world. From automated water shut off systems to auto dimming light bulbs, there are a variety of standalone products on the market.
Some companies are creating the framework for standalone products to work seamlessly together as a single platform. SmartThings and even Apple, with their HomeKit framework, are exploring how to incorporate various standalone products that exist on the market and make them function as a single platform.
Home security firms, such as ADT, have also entered the automated home market where instead of traditional home alarm systems; they now offer an additional connected security system that allows a homeowner to have real time updates on the status of their home. Finally, a homeowner can lower the risk of their home through technology.
And P&C insurers are taking notice; companies like USAA and State Farm are offering discounts to homeowners who are opting for connected devices or connected security plans. Right now connected homes are still a new “trend” in tech, but eventually this trend will become a staple, as all homes will move in this direction.
Now with all of this great news in technology, there has to be a downside, right?
As with everything else digital, connected devices are also prone to potential attacks by hackers, however, as with all things that involve online security, the first level of security starts with the user, or in this case the homeowner.
To minimize security threats or open access points in your network, always be sure to lock your WiFi signal, and occasionally monitor who is accessing your router. If you have a video system, make sure the connection is encrypted; as hackers or thieves can easily access unencrypted video feeds to see the habits of homeowners. Professional systems will solve most connection security issues, but for the DIY enthusiast be sure to do your research when installing a system.
The Internet now offers the ability to lower the risk of one’s home, while potentially creating new risks, however, in this case the benefits outweigh the risks.