In these current times, modern technology usage is at an all-time high. Modern technology has plenty of benefits and can transform your home from standard living to smart living, helping immerse yourself into a futuristic lifestyle. However, while opening yourself up to modern technology can reap plenty of positive experiences, it also brings a series of security risks to your home.
Stage Security is a specialist security firm based in Ipswich, UK. In this article, they will explain some of the top security concerns of using smart home technology and ways in which you can reduce risk to keep yourself and your home safe and secure.
Without a doubt, one of the most popular lapses in security lies with insecure passwords. This is always a major concern wherever cybersecurity is involved, not just for smart home technology or online or offline security. The vast majority of people don’t pay particular amounts of attention to securing their passwords. It’s always important to make sure that your passwords are unique and comprise of a combination of characters as opposed to identifiable words. You should also always aim to use a different password for each device and network. Otherwise, if one platform suffers from a data hack, then an attacker will have access to a password that can be used elsewhere, increasing your level of risk.
In this day and age, it’s common that a lot of systems are connected through single devices. For instance, there’s a good chance that you will be using a mobile phone to control all your smart technology. Should this device be stolen or hacked, then you are effectively handing over control of a lot of sensitive data and tools. Depending on what smart devices you use, someone could be able to do anything from unlocking doors, turning off lights or turning up the temperature – all without being inside your house.
Concerns about privacy always arise wherever online technology is used and privacy groups are often disputing the safety of smart devices. External attacks from criminals are a concern, but what about businesses? The collection of personal data by first or third-party businesses will always remain an ongoing issue. Businesses often see value in using data for monitoring or advertising purposes, or to sell it to a third-party. This is where what you say and do is no longer tied to the comforts of your home. Your use of a device as well as audio or video recordings may be stored. In some cases, there may be the option to opt-out of data recording, the purpose of which may be described as ‘to improve your user experience’. For further security, disable any features of the device you don’t intend to use. For instance, there’s no point keep voice recognition enabled if you see no purpose in using voice features.
The thought of being burgled in the safety of your own home is a nightmare scenario for anyone. Smart home security systems can help combat crime, but there are also downsides if you don’t take security seriously. Some of the points we’ve mentioned previously, such as insecure passwords, can overlap here. You may have smart locks and cameras that can be controlled via an electronic device such as your mobile phone. If you don’t take precautions, criminals may use loopholes to gain access. This could, in theory, allow them to open and close doors or turn off security cameras. While smart security can be convenient and appear cool, it would be wise to keep an added layer of offline security in place. Even if you don’t have smart locks or cameras, other cyber intrusions may allow criminals to track your usage patterns and determine when you’re not at home. When it comes to network connections, we recommend not displaying any identifiable information that may appear to anyone within the vicinity.
Any online data that is stored is kept in the cloud. As we’ve seen several times over the years, businesses are prone to network breaches where data may get in the hands of criminals. Unlike physical data, attackers can steal data from anywhere in the world and sophisticated attacks can leave no trace. When you use a smart device, there will be data that you have personally entered and data that the device has recorded based on your usage. Any of this data, including your email and social media accounts or bank details, can lead to serious criminal activity such as identity theft and phishing. When you first set up your account, aim to only enter the details that matter for how you intend to use the device. Every little detail can be used by criminals to coordinate sophisticated attacks against you.
Last of all, we come to the software of smart devices. Anything that is connected to an online network can be prone to ever-changing situations. In comparison, offline devices will forever remain the same standard as when you bought it. Cyber criminals are always working to find exploits and vulnerabilities in software. This is why it’s essential to keep your devices up-to-date with the latest software. Whenever a business finds a vulnerability in their software, they will release a security patch to fix the issue and prevent attackers from breaking down their security defences.