Does Smart Home Technology Pose a Security Threat?

smartcoffeeModern technology now allows homeowners to control many functions remotely. Security systems, appliances like ranges and refrigerators, and even the coffee maker can be interconnected and controlled from afar. Commonly referred to as the Internet of Things, devices throughout the home can easily be controlled and monitored from a smartphone or tablet. While there are distinct advantages to being able to, for example, remotely unlock a door for a child or guest, that very ability leads to security threats. Industry experts have expressed concerns about staying ahead of potential security gaps in those systems.

Are the Threats Real?

The short answer is that even a potential threat should not be ignored. Hackers, historically, have breached systems deemed to be virtually impenetrable. If high-end systems can successfully be penetrated, it would be unwise to assume an internet connected home is secure. As with any other computerized system, steps must be taken to stay on top of threats from unwanted intruders.

How Can Security be Enhanced?

Simply acknowledging the risks involved is important. Being aware of potential threats, and taking all possible steps to mitigate the risks, is crucial. That means following directions when installing any devices to minimize the potential for unauthorized access. Updating software for all devices is absolutely vital. As manufacturers become aware of security loopholes, patches are developed to eliminate those threats. Check for and install software updates for all devices connected to the home system.

Who Should Have Access to the System?

Access should be kept to a minimum. While children and guests may be given a code for a keypad controlled entrance system, only a minimum number of smartphones or tablet computers should have full access to the system. The idea is to keep the number of penetrable devices to a minimum. Compare it to giving out house keys to all the neighbors. The threat level goes up as the number of keys out increases.

The advantages of using the Internet of Things are significant, but users must be aware of potential security issues. As the systems become more sophisticated, the security needs will also become more significant. Staying on top of security advancements is the best way to protect the home from outside threats.

About the Author

Roger Feinstein has grown up with computers his entire life and strives to help others understand what goes on behind the scenes in their PCs. He's been writing tech articles for websites for over 5 years.

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