Smart homes make life easier and more convenient. Whether you’re just around the corner or traveling abroad, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), you can monitor, track and control just about any aspect of your home right from your smartphone. And when at home, a smart hub or speaker allows you to do the same with voice commands.
This technology is simplifying daily activities and easing worries for households across the globe. Smart homes aren’t just for the tech-savvy or wealthy; approximately 83 million U.S. households now have at least one internet-connected home device. Although convenient, connecting smart home devices to the internet runs the risk of exposing security vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals.
With so many devices connected to the internet, smart home technology has become a new playground for cybercriminals. Once a device is compromised, a hacker can do anything from annoy you to execute serious threats, such as spying, blackmail or theft. For instance, a hacker who gains access to your smart thermostat can disable the heat during a winter storm. While annoying, this type of attack does not present any grave threat. On the other hand, hacking one device makes it easier to hack others. Access to the thermostat can be a gateway to the security system, or even worse, the entire network. Cybercriminals who find their way to the network can unlock doors or turn off security systems, leaving the home vulnerable to a break-in. Also, unprotected smart home devices can offer up an ample amount of non-public personal information that cybercriminals can use for fraudulent acts such as identity theft.
There’s no doubt smart homes make daily activities easier, but they’re also vulnerable to a wide range of cyberattacks. Before investing in smart home technology, it’s important to consider the security vulnerabilities of each new device and implement ways to reduce security risks.