Would you let a stranger drop off packages inside your home while you were away? Companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon now allow couriers to open your front door and put purchases directly inside your home.  Read along for the benefits and risks associated with in-home delivery.

How Does In-Home Delivery Work?

To understand how in-home delivery works, let’s look at Amazon Key, which was launched last year, as an example. Using a unique Amazon camera called the Cloud Cam and an Amazon-compatible smart lock, Prime members in select cities now have access to in-home delivery. Here’s the step-by-step process:

Wal-Mart’s program, which delivers groceries straight to your fridge, follows a similar process as Amazon. The only difference is the brand of smart locks and cameras used.

Is In-Home Delivery Safe?

In-home delivery services like these are convenient, but are they safe? Amazon claims the internet-enabled Cloud Cam reinforces the service’s safety by allowing customers to monitor the delivery in real-time. However, security researchers proved there is a way to disarm the system. Here’s how it works:

Although Amazon says they notify the customer if the camera is offline for a significant amount of time, they are still working on a software update to fix the issue. The same hack can be applied to Wal-Mart’s system.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

If you do choose an in-home delivery service, we recommend installing back-up security cameras that you can monitor in the event the delivery service’s cameras are hacked.  Although providers claim couriers are “thoroughly vetted,” you can never be too cautious when it comes to your family’s safety.  Remember, you can always opt out of the service if it makes you uncomfortable.

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