By the year 2020, a total of 75 billion devices will be connected online. A rising trend that we call The Internet of Things is certainly creating an exciting environment, a thrilling era to live in, but it also draws a question or two as well.
One of those problems is definitely the question of security.
Every day, we spend at least 3 hours surfing the internet via our mobile device. If you are a teenager, you spend even more of your free time online, with an average of almost 30 hours connected on the internet, on a weekly basis. But did you know that there is at least one hacker attack launched every single day? Only last year, a total of 15 million T-Mobile accounts had their information stolen by a hacker group, exposing vital data of private users, and selling them on the black market.
Now, when you think about this problem from the aspect of all of our devices being connected online, (like cars, smart TVs, all types of gadgets etc.), you are bound to get worried a bit.
Today, we are building Smart homes. Our home appliances, our home security systems, our ACs, and not to mention our media sources – they are all connected and monitored via our smartphones, tablets and smartwatches. But when all of our technical devices, our homes, and finally our lives become completely automated – how are we going to maintain a safe environment? How are we going to protect our privacy? And what is the real price of conform?
Let’s examine some of the Smarthome security concerns that you should be aware of, if you value your privacy.
Your Privacy Might Be at Risk
Although this topic is one of the favorite ones among conspiracy theorists, the not so funny fact is – this they might be right. Our mobile devices, and their trusted apps might just be eavesdropping on our conversations.
The mass communication professor, Kelli Burns, suggested recently that one of our most beloved social media apps, the Facebook, is not just recording the information that we manually type in when we are searching for people, brands and products. On the contrary, Kelli thinks that Facebook is actually eavesdropping on our conversations, and pushing ads based on our interest that we are talking about with our friends and family.
Another case similar to this one is the latest warning from the Belgian police force to the citizens of this country. The warning stated that Facebook users shouldn’t use Facebook reactions on their smartphones if they value their privacy. Apparently, this addition to our beloved platform (used by 1.23 billion users monthly), isn’t just there for expressing our reactions. On the contrary, the (good) people from Facebook are actually using this seemingly benign system as a filter to determine which ads to push.
This feature actually inspired quite a few campaigns, with their competition bragging about the safety of their PC-based Home Theatre systems, ironically. Your Personal Computer is, without any doubt, the most unsafe device that you can use. And the thing that will certainly make you think about how exposed you actually are is the fact that the great majority of unsafe software will come preinstalled with your laptop.
While the statistics show that 91% of Americans disagree that corporations should access their private data without any given consent, the great majority of them think that they don’t stand any chance in the battle for their privacy; they believe that corporations, and the government eventually, will nevertheless acquire all data that they want to.
But is there actually a way for us to keep our information safe online? If we use encrypted cloud storage you can definitely keep your data private and free of risk. Or, if you use a two-way authentication system for your business correspondence, which is available even on Google, you will definitely avoid becoming a victim of a hacker. However, the moment you double click on your browser (or the moment you tap that icon), the threats of the World Wide Web are there. Lurking, as your applications and software systems are recording your every move.
This is still not a conspiracy theory.
Smarthome Security of Tomorrow
In the following period, we can expect quite a few rising trends on the market as the companies rush to provide an answer to this ever-so-complex question. While the manufacturers are trying to find a compromise, people seem to be more worried about their convenience and comfort than they are about their safety.
It seems that the future of Smarthome security lies in remote management services. But in which way exactly will this system function? Will the third party involved going to be able to guarantee to us that our devices, our appliances, and eventually our homes will be risk-free? Well, we won’t have to wait that long to find out.