In last week’s post, I shared some ways that SMART home technology can help you with time management. It’s incredible how much of our homes we can monitor and control from offsite – or without ever having to leave our couch – simply by tapping the screen of a smart phone or tablet.
In addition to the benefits, it’s just as important to examine the risks and drawbacks of SMART home technology. Here are a few to consider:
*With one surge or lightning strike, all your equipment can be decimated.
As the popularity of SMART home technology grows, more and more people are purchasing devices to help them with what they used to do manually or non-electronically. Have you counted how many electronic appliances or devices you use for your household chores or daily living? You never realize how reliant you are on electricity until your power goes out. That’s a minor inconvenience that happens on occasion. But what if there’s a surge or storm that shorts out all your devices, rendering them completely useless? That’s an expensive event to experience. To prevent this, install both a whole-house surge protector and individual point-of-use surge protectors.
*Radiation / RF frequencies are being emitted.
Radiation is emitted from anything wireless: phone, Wi-Fi, satellite, smart appliances, laptops, tablets, e-watches and so on. Manufacturers claim that these doses are so small, they are not enough to do harm to the human body. The growing concern is that there are now so many devices in a home, the total amount of radiation being released should cause health concerns. Here’s a news story that looks into an allegation of radiation from a SMART monitor. Research is being conducted to determine how much radiation is emitted from devices as a whole and at what levels does it become unsafe for us. I wouldn’t chunk all of your wireless devices out the window, but you should be aware of radiation emissions.
*Your privacy and security are at risk.
Each app that you use to control a SMART device asks for permission to get information from your phone or tablet. You must give permission in order to use the app. Have you ever read through the fine print to find out what information you’re making not-so-private? What information is being collected and recorded? And shared? Many apps have access to more functions on your device than they need.
We’ve heard news stories about websites, servers, and emails being hacked. Are you aware that your SMART devices can be hacked? Any device that is connected to the internet or Wi-Fi is a target. Thieves can monitor your SMART garage door opener or security system to determine your entry and exit patterns. They can decide when to break in based on this. Criminals can hack your SMART devices, which are connected to your phone or tablet, and gain access to your information, block your services or plant spyware or malware. It’s really quite frightening how much of our lives they can gain access to. Therefore, it’s absolutely critical that you password-protect all of your internet and Wi-Fi systems and all of your SMART devices. And by password-protect, I mean you should use something much stronger than “Password” or your name or birthday as your password. How vulnerable is your system to hackers?
For more food for thought related to guarding your security while using SMART home technology, check out these articles:
Having little electronic assistants all over your home can save you time and help you get more done. But if you’re not aware of the risks, and if you don’t take the necessary precautions to avoid these issues, you will lose time and money in the long run.