Home Automation: The Risks and Benefits
There is perhaps no greater example of technology’s ability to impact your day-to-day life than a home automation system. In the age of smartphones and wireless everything, users are enjoying the ability to keep their home controls right at their fingertips. Home automation systems put the controls of your home right at your fingertips, and there are also a number of security benefits that come with it.
Before you make the decision to purchase a system of your own, however, it’s important to do some research on potential risks that such a system could bring. Home automation isn’t for everyone, but those who like having it in their lives often decide to never look back. By understanding what you can do to stay protected while using the latest home automation technology, you can ensure a positive experience if you do decide to purchase it.
The Benefits of Home Automation
Most people buy home automation systems because of the hundreds of conveniences that it can provide. Of course, this all depends on which of your possessions are included in the sprawling Internet of Things (IoT). For instance:
- If your lightbulbs are smart lightbulbs wired into a home automation system, you’ll be able to control them using your smartphone.
- Google’s home automation branch Nest is currently perfecting a home thermostat system that studies heating and cooling trends in order to understand how to best control the temperature in your home.
- Smart refrigerators can even help users figure out if they need eggs while at the supermarket. Using internal cameras, listing capabilities, online access, and even mechanisms that will order more orange juice when you’re out, smart fridges are becoming a very trendy addition to the IoT.
- Getting home automation also allows you to lock individual doors and windows and make sure that they’re locked when you start to get nervous about whether or not you can trust your memory. Some programs even come with instant access video feeds to give you even more peace of mind.
- Home automation saves time and money in the long run. Conveniences are popular for a reason. Not only does a home automation system save time and headspace, it can literally save money when it comes to home appliances or lights that you might unwittingly leave on during the day.
The Risks of Home Automation
Obviously, with all these benefits, some risks had to be associated with home automation as well. Look at it this way. In order to give you access to your devices when you’re not home, the programming in your online devices (which, as we said before, can now include your lights, fridge, thermostat, and even the locks on your doors) is meant to be activated using a remote signal. These signals, depending on the service you use, can have unexpected gaps in privacy that could allow hackers to do all of the same things you can do.
For this reason, it’s important to keep this in mind when designing a home automation system and be sure to inquire about any security precautions that the provider takes when installing such a system.