• FREE CONSULTATION! 617-532-1013
Smart Home Robbery

Are Smart Homes Just an Easier Way for Burglars to Get In?June 23, 2016

The internet has certainly made lives easier over the last decade. People carry computers around in their pockets. If they want to know something, all they have to do is look it up. If they want to talk to someone, they just touch a screen or send a quick text. However, despite all of the benefits, where there is internet access, there are opportunities for hackers – and smart homes can be likely targets.

The Prevalence of Home Automation

Back in 2013, Reuters announced that the home automation market was worth $1.5 billion the year before, and that number has doubled in just a few years’ time. People automate everything these days. They buy thermostats that essentially learn their comfort preferences. They buy refrigerators that allow them to check the contents from the grocery store. They even buy complete home automation systems that allow them to turn off the lights, water, or HVAC system from anywhere with an internet connection. With all of that convenience comes a potentially high price; these apps provide perfect access for hackers.

Hacking Home Automation

Automation systems allow people to control just about anything in their homes via the internet. However, there are some companies out there that aren’t very smart about the way they set things up. For example, one company by the name of Insteon actually made it possible for anyone to find homes that had automation systems just by typing in a certain phrase. Although the product is now discontinued, back when it was still popular, the company didn’t require passwords. All a hacker had to do is search Google, click a link, and start turning lights off and on – or worse, open the garage door and steal everything in sight.

Is it Still Possible Today?

These days, it’s a lot harder for hackers to access a smart home, but it is still possible. Viruses containing programs called “keyloggers” make it possible. A hacker sends you an email, and when you open it, every page you visit and every keystroke you make is recorded. That individual will have your usernames, your passwords, and even your bank account numbers and social security number – a true identity nightmare. What’s more, that hacker can also gain access into your home via your smart home program in much the same way.

How to Protect Yourself

Television shows like Dateline have focused on the dangers of smart homes in the past. If you have a smart home or any part of your home security is automated, you can take some steps to protect yourself. Use a program on both your computer and your smartphone that hunts for viruses in real time. Never access your home automation system or smart home on a public network or from a public computer. Finally, make sure that no one – including a camera – can see over your shoulder when you are accessing your smart home apps via the internet.

Smart homes don’t necessarily make it easier for burglars, but they do provide another way for them to get in. As such, you need to be very smart about your smart home and protect yourself. This way, if a hacker strikes, your identity and your home is completely protected.

← Back