What Is Home Automation & Is It Secure?

Smart technology is booming.  Smart homes ie home automation is becoming increasingly popular with people investing more and more into automated technology.

It’s getting to a point where everything can seemingly can be automated and controlled by an app.

This post will be discussing what home automation is and whether or not it is safe to use.  After all, anything that is smart can technically be hacked… including your kettle!

What is home automation?

Also referred to as domotics, home automation is, as the name suggests, building automation for a home.  Machine learning and data mining play an important role in most home automation systems.  It helps to predict user activity.

The process involves hooking up the device with internet in order to be activated.  The modern systems are controlled by mobile phones, computers, tablets or off-site systems that have access to the internet.

Although not usually linked with home automation, early forms include the invention of the washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers and tumble dryers.

Nowadays, most home automated systems are being controlled by apps.   Examples include:

Security

This is the area where most smart home technology is being developed.

Home security applications like the Nest are one form of home smart security applications, ranging from cameras to alarms.

Some of the applications can be programmed to recognise the homeowners face so if there is an intruder and the camera picks them up, the technology will know that the person is not a friendly face.

Updates can be sent to the user’s mobile phone via the application to give them all necessary notifications in real time.

Light and heat

Hive are a company that specialise in providing smart heating and lighting to someone’s home.

The user simply attaches the hub to their boiler or heating system which is then controlled remotely by the user’s phone.  They can then set the remotely temperature to their desire.

The same process works for the lighting.  You simply insert a light bulb into the socket and then control it via the mobile phone app.

Home entertainment

I’m sure you’ve heard of the term smart TV by now.  It’s the latest buzzword all over the adverts.

This means that a television can be connected up to the internet meaning that a user can browse the web, on demand catch up TV and access online streaming services like Netflix.

The software is loaded into the TV’s operating system and available through the application, similar to accessing apps on a smart phone.

This same techonolgy can also be found on games consoles, DVD and Blu-ray players.

Kitchen appliances

Kitchens are getting increasingly ‘smarter’.  Technology is advancing so that ordinary appliances can be connected to the internet to provide an even easier use.

Refrigerators are becoming automated.  Smart refrigerators let a user see the contents of their fridge on their mobile device.

Home automation can also be used by radios or television units by connecting them to the home WiFi.

You can now even buy smart kettles.

A user can control the exact temperature they want their water to reach when boiling.

All from the convenience of a mobile phone application.

Of course all these examples have one thing in common: they are all intended to make life that much easier to things you do every day.

Even the kettle!

With all this technology however, there are a lot of concerns.

Is home automation safe?

There are a few common questions that crop up:

Can all this technology be hacked?  Will it work when I need it the most?  Will it turn on by itself?

Considering a lot of smart technology that is being developed is being used in the security business, it’s pretty important that the answers to these questions can put to bed any fears people may have.

To sum it up as simply as possible: home automation is safe.

Connecting all your security equipment and other appliances up to the internet is safe and secure.  The data that is shared between your device and the internet is encrypted so even if there is a breach, an intruder can’t do anything with it.

As long as your internet passwords are strong, it is unlikely that anyone can get access to your network in the first place.

Stay secure

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you have or looking to installing any smart technology in your home:

  • When setting up your new or existing devices, change the default password to something memorable that only you would know.
  • Use a different password for each different device and keep them on a need-to-know basis.  If you only use a single password for everything and there is a intrusion, the hacker can access everything.
  • Include a combination of at least an uppercase letter, lowercase letter and number in each password.
  • If you haven’t got one already, make sure your phone has a password or some sort of security on the lock screen.  All your apps can be accessed on this one device so keep it secured.
  • Install all updates that are available.  Most updates will always include some sort of security upgrade to keep you as safe as possible.

All these are simple to follow and easy to implement straight away.

Keeping your network and devices is the most important thing to do when integrating automation into a home.

Once you have done all these, you will be secure and enjoy the many benefits of smart technology in your household.

A smart home is a very efficient way of living in modern society.  They are very convenient and make usually easy tasks, such as flicking a light switch, effortless.

Just bear in mind how many devices you really need to connect to your network.

Do you really need that kettle to tell you the exact temperature your water is at?  Pick only the equipment and appliances you really need to access the internet and you will be less vulnerable to potential breaches.

 

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