Potential security threats can loom anywhere. Now that our technology is communicating with one another, the risk of possible pretenders is greatly increased. It is important to keep uninvited people from gaining access into your private life, especially your home. With the influx of smart devices, home automation products are more popular than ever. In 2012 alone, 1.5 million home automation products were shipped in the U.S. and in 2017 that number is expected to reach 8 million.
Connecting home security devices to any network opens it up to a possible threat, that’s why it’s important to equip it with proper security. Take a smart door lock for instance, this is designed to be opened with a PIN code or an app and it can be changed from virtually anywhere. Security researchers have done a number of tests to see how easy it is to hack a home device. They also found that a toilet was hackable, yes a toilet. All you need is the $5,000 toilet Android app on your phone, close proximity and an urge to communicate with it.
“It connects through Bluetooth, with no username or password using the pin ‘0000’,” said Daniel Crowley, a Managing Consultant for SpiderLabs, the research arm of the security firm Trustwave. “So anyone who has the application on their phone and was connected to the network could control anyone else’s toilet. You could turn the bidet on while someone’s in there.”
Many manufacturers of smart automation devices are responsive when it comes to the discovery of security flaws, but despite that you are still in charge of your home. In order to protect your home automation system, there are a few things you can do to:
- Regularly change your passwords on all Internet connected devices, especially routers and WiFi access points.
- Switch off your “Broadcast SSID” on your WIFI access point. You will need to manually enter the SSID name into the device, but it adds security.
- Install a trustworthy Firewall
- Update possible applications from your home automation company to avert hackers from taking advantage of weaknesses in the system.
- Although home automation systems are designed to make home living easier, you still need to install a home security system that gives you all round protection.
Find out how you can further protect your home. Contact 4ward-design today and let us advise you on selecting the best system and technologies for all your custom home and commercial automation requirements. Please note that some of the above mentioned products/apps/services are not available in South Africa.