Most Common Risks to Privacy in Smart Homes

Most Common Risks to Privacy in Smart Homes

There is no doubt that smart home technology has completely changed our lifestyle. 

And that too, in a good way. 

Before you leave your bed in the morning, you tap on your phone and the coffee machine in the kitchen downstairs turns on so that coffee is ready before you enter the kitchen. 

On a hot summer day, while driving home from work, you tap on your smartphone and turn on the thermostat so that your home is cool before you reach. There are multiple benefits to having a smart home system.

Such conveniences have brought about the growth of the smart home industry, including the likes of Xfinity Home. This service includes providing 24/7 professional monitoring, where surveillance cameras are installed in your home, putting you and your loved ones at ease. You can learn more about their smart home service by dialing the Xfinity customer service number.

While smart home technology is beneficial, risks are still attached to it. Be wary, we are not suggesting you stop enjoying the comfort and benefits of your smart home you have worked so hard for. But you should be aware of what you have signed up for.

On that note, check out the following risks to your privacy in a smart home:

All Your Information is Saved

Data privacy is one of the major concerns regarding smart home security.

You are well aware that your information is collected by smart home devices to learn about you so that these devices can personalize the whole experience for you. 

The lighting, HVAC, printers, thermostats, speakers, etc. all store your data. The lighting system has information on when you come home in the evening and turn on the lights, which room in your home is mostly used, and when everyone goes to sleep at night when all lights are turned off. This information allows the lighting system to automatically do it for you so you do not have to make an effort to do it manually.

However, such information is at threat of being used by unknown activity hacking into your system and using it. You can clear your cache data as soon as possible so that the data isn’t stored in the system for a long time.

Your Identity Could Be at Risk

Smart home devices store your information, including your date of birth, credit card details, time of payment (if you have made any), emails you receive and send, and more. Cybercriminals can easily access such information and use it against you.

Having access to your credit card information, cybercriminals can make payments using your information. If you don’t have a credit card, all your crucial information can still be used to apply for a credit card, and that is entirely possible and easy for cybercriminals to carry out. In other words, cybercriminals can completely change your life.

You can reduce such a risk by sharing as little information as possible with your smart devices. Also regularly monitor your credit card report for any unwanted activities.

You Are Sharing Your Location

This type of risk is often overlooked, making you very vulnerable.

Your smart devices require your location information for optimal performance. You trust the smart home system enough to share your location status because, after all, it’s your home and devices.

Despite their amazing features and functionalities, your smart home devices are still vulnerable to potential hacking in the system. This puts your location information in the open, for anyone to access. You need to be wary of how your location could be shared. 

For instance, if you click on a malicious link on your smartphone or laptop, it might trick any of your smart devices into giving up your location.

Hence, take care not to accept or proceed with online activities or requests that you are not familiar with. Also, share your location with apps or smart devices when you need to; otherwise, just keep the location off.

Your Smart Home Appliances Are Also Vulnerable

We have already established that hackers can easily access your information from smart home devices. That means they can take over the control of your smart home devices too.

For instance, with access to the thermostat in your home, the hacker could fiddle with the controls, making the HVAC go into overdrive, and, in turn, causing the whole system to malfunction. 

Or if you are away from home, your oven could get cranked up, causing a house fire and property damage, while you are away from home.

You can minimize the risk by looking into settings that enable locking your smart home devices.

Passwords Can Get Compromised

It’s widely known that weak passwords or the absence of two-factor authentication can make the system vulnerable to hacking.

This lapse in your security system might give anyone access to your smart home hub and other devices. This is also mostly how they can control the smart devices in your home. They get access to the control of your devices and the information about your routine stored in them.

You can deal with this by creating strong passwords. Make sure it’s not easy to guess, not some important dates you want to remember, not phone numbers, or names. Make your password as unique as possible so it’s impossible to crack.

Final Thoughts

The purpose of this article isn’t to deter you from reaping the benefits and convenience that smart home technology could add to your lifestyle. 

Rather it was just to educate you and make you aware of the risks of having a smart home security system. This way you can minimize such a risk and prevent your smart home hub from being controlled by someone other than yourself. 

Published by: Nelly Chavez


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