3 Risks of Smart Home Technology & How You Can Stay Safe

By ASR Staff,

An increasing number of electronic devices and everyday objects serve to enhance smart home technology. New items seem to keep popping up in the marketplace all the time in the interest of energy efficiency and home security, according to The Conversation. 

Basically, there is a fairly consistent and multi-directional stream of exciting new ways to smarten up your life and your home, in particular. 

Unfortunately, as with all new technological advances, we may all experience growing pains—or at least a learning curve—since our increasingly smart world does come with some risks. And your home, your safe sanctuary, is ground zero for these risks.

Take a look at three potential dangers associated with smart home technology and how you can mitigate them to keep your home, your family and yourself safe. 

1. Your Home Assistant May Leave You Open to Unwanted Purchases and Other Mishaps 

Between Google’s home assistant and Amazon’s Alexa—along with others on the way—life promises to become simpler for busy professionals. Whether you are working away from home or launching your business from your kitchen, these devices are tempting. Beware, though, as they can leave your home vulnerable to unapproved access that could cause costly errors or worse. In most cases, users of assistance devices provide all banking and vendor information, giving the device unlimited access. If one of your housemates or children chooses to order something you have not approved—or worse, someone hacks your device—you may end up facing some expensive consequences. 

A few things you may consider doing to get the most out of your home assistant while staying safe include: 

  • Using the remote feature instead of the voice activation mode for better control.
  • With Alexa, for example, switch up your “wake word” between “Alexa,” Amazon,” “Echo” or “Computer.” 
  • Disable the voice order feature and allow purchases via pin-activation only. 

2. Your IoT Devices and Smart Apps Can Leave You Vulnerable to Break-ins and Fires 

As awful as it is to consider, the very devices you rely on could become liabilities without plenty of precautions. There are many smart apps that grant privileges to turn an oven on or off, to lock or unlock a door, or to switch on or off exterior lights. Sometimes the privileges to perform these activities are rolled into one set of permissions that you must carefully monitor and control. You may find it safer to ensure that each activity, along with its set of commands, is fully segregated for optimal control and safety. Also, make sure you only have the number of apps that serves your home’s needs to avoid confusion or overloading your IoT with information that it cannot properly sort out. 

3. Your Smart Home Technology Could Result in Identity Theft 

Everything, from your smart doorbell and your smart garage door to your smart camera and smart door lock, is intended to keep your home safe. However, each one may also leave you at risk for identity theft. TripWire shares that hackers have found ways to tamper with various smart devices, intercepting passwords via Wi-Fi networks to cause all types of problems for homeowners. 

A few key ways to stay ahead of identity theft risks include: 

  • Regularly updating your devices and apps.
  • Making sure to choose your apps wisely by checking with your manufacturer for their recommendations.
  • Investing in high-quality identity theft protection so you can rest easy while enjoying the convenience and energy-efficiency of your smart home technology. The right plan will help you detect malicious use of your personal data right away to help you catch hackers in their tracks. Even better, the best plans feature a high level of 24/7 customer service if you have any questions or an emergency. 

Understand the Risks & Take Precautions

With good information about the possible underlying risks, along with your diligence in creating a strategy for solid prevention and protection, you can enjoy all the benefits of smart home technology without worry. 

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