With the Internet of things quickly becoming the way of things for the average person, we are left wondering how safe is having everything controlled through the Internet. Home automation is a great idea and offers a tremendous number of opportunities, but behind all of our awe is a very real concern over the security of our homes.
Remember the old cartoon family called the Jetsons? Well, we are quickly catching up to the sort of automation that a few years ago could only be dreamed up in a tv show. But one thing the Jetsons never had to contend with is one of home automation’s biggest concerns – security.
Recall Rosie their robot maid? Well they never had to worry about her becoming a remote surveillance device for some eavesdropping hacker.
Benefits of Home Automation
Home automation systems are the next trend in home security. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can control nearly everything in the home. Not only can they alert you to a break in but also let you know when the children enter the home from school, if an exterior or garage door has been left open or even if a medicine cabinet has been opened.
Automated systems also allow you to monitor energy uses throughout the home. You can control heating and cooling, even turn off appliances and lighting that aren’t in use. As you can see, home automation will make our lives that much more comfortable. But at the same time it also opens up the possibility for unwelcomed guests to gain access to our private lives.
Drawbacks of Home Automation
Recently the flaws of security cameras have been in the news. A Russian web site aggregated tens of thousands of individual security camera footage that it hacked in to easily on the Web, if “hacked” is the right word.
Actually the founder of the site said all he had to do was use the default passwords that came with the camera’s internet access. His point, security cameras aren’t that secure.
This highlights that even though a system controlling home automation may be tamper proof from the outside, many users may not take security risks seriously enough to even bother with changing the default password. This makes it easy for a peeping tom to look in on the personal lives of others without ever having to leave his chair.
If this sounds creepy to you then good. It should.
Eventually the time will come when many of your household devices are connected to the Internet. When that happens, make sure to pay particular attention to their security.
In a real sense, the burglars of tomorrow won’t have any need for the likes of crowbars or ski masks. They will simply monitor your home network and wait for an opportune time when they see that you are not around. Then, with a few lines of code, they may disable any motion detectors and unlock the front door for themselves.