Is Home Automation Safe?

One of the biggest concerns people have with having their homes and businesses constantly connected to the internet is – is it safe?

Here’s the thing; anything connected to the internet CAN be breached. Security has come a long way, and there are many precautions you can take to secure your network, but at the end of the day, every system (automated or not) has to possibility of being accessed.

That being said, you don’t really have anything to worry about if you’re just a regular person, turning your lightbulbs on and off and adjusting your thermostat.

No one has any reason to attack you, and even if they did, what could they really achieve – maybe some spooky flickering lights, I guess?

So to answer the question of whether it’s safe or not, I think it comes down to whether you feel safe or not knowing someone could turn your lights off. Obviously things change a bit when we start talking about security systems, i.e. cameras and automated locks.

Then what matters is making sure your home network is secured. I’d say there are a few key things that you can do to make sure your home network can’t be accessed by any old criminal;

  1. Lock down your wifi – make sure your wifi is using the strongest encryption possible, and uses a secure password that doesn’t contain any actual words and could not be guessed easily. If your router is more than 5 years out of date, you probably want to consider upgrading. Not only will a new router be faster in most cases, security technology often advances faster than any other kind, and so if your router is old, so are its security features.
  2. Use secure passwords on all of your devices – if someone is able to access your account, they may be able to access devices on your network that way. In general, strong passwords do not contain characters that make up actual words, are at least 8 characters long, contain at least one number, have a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters and use special characters.
  3. Keep everything up to date – just like your router. New firmware and security improvements get released for IoT devices regularly to patch vulnerabilities and help protect your network. Your system is only as good as its last update, so keep tabs on the latest software and firmware and make sure you’re using it!