Privacy vs Home Technologies

Home Technologies That Could Ruin Your Privacy (and How to Beat Them)

As technology continues to penetrate our lives, it becomes increasingly possible to gather large amounts of personal data with extreme specificity. The idea of smart home automation networks is incredible, because these networks are designed to simplify your day-to-day life. But how safe and secure are smart home automated networks when it comes to protecting your privacy and data?

Smart Home Networks

Smart homes are part of an integrated system in which information flows in and out of the home. For many people, the Internet of Things (IoT) means connected convenience, and so very little thought is given to the data that smart home devices collect and share.

Privacy Considerations & Concerns

Your privacy must be one of your primary considerations as you create your smart home network because your network, and therefore your privacy, can easily be compromised. Many connected smart home devices were not created with your security in mind.

Fitness bands, such as FitBit, monitor your daily location. If this device was hacked, it could provide cyber criminals with important information about your daily activities, patterns and routines. Data from this compromised device could allow thieves to break into your home when they know you are away.Voice-activated intelligence assistants tend to raise the most privacy concerns. This is mostly related to the possibility of your data being over-shared by commercial companies, as well as the interception of your digital traffic by cyber criminals.

Creating a More Secure Smart Home

It is possible to create a safe and secure smart home, but it is important to remember that no smart home network is 100 percent immune to potential vulnerabilities. When developing a plan to create an automated smart home, the focus should be on protecting your data and privacy. It is essentially impossible to fully protect the smart home devices themselves, so you must cover the basics and protect the perimeter of your network. For example, there is no antivirus software available for smart TVs, but you can secure your Wi-Fi internet connection with a strong password so that your smart TV does not become a backdoor into your home.

It is a good idea to connect all of your smart home accessories — such as your thermostat, lights and refrigerator — to a Wi-Fi connection that is separate from the Wi-Fi that you use for all of your computing devices, such as your smartphones, computers and tablets. The easiest way to create a separate Wi-Fi access point for your smart devices is to create a guest network. Most Wi-Fi routers already include the ability to create separate network that utilizes a login and password that is distinct from your primary login and password. When you create a Wi-Fi quarantine for your smart home devices, this allows the devices to interact with one another as intended, while keeping your computers, smartphones and tablets safer from a breach in your privacy and data.

Do Your Research

It is important to do your research. You should select devices from companies with a comprehensive and effective security culture. When new vulnerabilities are detected in smart home devices, you want a company that addresses the issues rapidly with new software and firmware. If a company does not quickly address security issues when they arise, or does not address security issues at all, then you should pick a different company that carries the smart home device you want.