Many households have introduced smart devices in recent years. From speakers and energy meters to lighting and security, home setups are now far more technologically advanced.
But these devices use wireless internet connectivity. So, there are question marks around how safe these setups are.
The Rise of Smart Homes
Smart devices have become part of everyday life for many households in the UK. The global smart speaker market was projected to reach 200 million unit sales in 2023 and continue growing.
As well as smart speakers, homeowners have adopted smart meters. This has become especially significant after the recent rise in energy bills.
Smart devices like these aim to make everyday tasks easier. Maybe you’re using a speaker to set timers while cooking or trying to update your home security. Whatever the reason for making your home smarter, what was advanced tech is now something many of us use without thinking.
How Safe Is Being Smart?
Although this tech has improved home setups in the last few years, it also comes with some risks. The main concerns include:
- Data misuse – Privacy and data are significant concerns for many. We are more connected than ever before. Some users worry that their devices are always listening and could be subjected to unwanted advertising.
- Hackers – There is the potential that our data can fall into the wrong hands. This can be especially disconcerting for those who use smart security systems. Homeowners invest in these devices to protect their property. Any chance hackers can get into the system is a real worry.
- Content and children – Protecting children from inappropriate content is also essential. Keeping children and young people safe online can mean introducing parental controls. It can also mean ensuring devices don’t relay adult content.
How to Protect Yourself
How you introduce safety measures while using smart devices at home depends on several factors: the type of devices you have and your network security are the two main areas to focus on.
Make sure only to buy devices from well-known brands. Research the products and look at the reviews. Avoid cheap options on Amazon or eBay, as this could mean you miss out on some built-in security features.
Also, invest in a VPN or upgrade if you already have a free one installed. This can protect your connection when using smart devices at home. While it’s tempting to choose VPNs that are free, it’s worth investing in a paid option. For instance, you can then access support services and have a dedicated IP address.
Other tips include ensuring your passwords are secure. Update these regularly and keep new passwords safe. Also, make sure your software is updated, as this can reduce any vulnerabilities.