Your Guide to the Best Smart Home Systems
The automation of daily life is arguably the main goal of today’s tech industry. Home automation security, or smart home security, is not some future convenience only seen in science fiction. Smart homes are the sole focus of a fast growing industry within home security.
So what do you need to do to turn your house into a smart home?
What is Smart Home Security?
Home automation is the process of automating homes. This includes automating home devices, appliances, and systems:
- Smart Lighting Control
- Automatic Door Locks
- Smart Temperature Control
- Smart Entertainment System
- Smart Appliances
- Smart Video Doorbells
- Alarm System Control
- Live Video Feed
Are Smart Homes Really a Good Idea?
Long story short, smart home devices are most effective and safe when introduced into the home as a part of an entire home security system.
Not all smart homes are created equal due to the multiple pathways they can take.
Good practices in the sector involve the design of the smart home as a system. This means that smart home system packages from professional home security companies, like BSG, will be your best bet.
DIY smart home automation may be a dangerous route to take.
How Home Automation Makes Your Home Safer
Today, security systems are equipped to offer customers a level of peace that was never possible until only the past decade.
And in fact, the difference between what they were and what they are today has little to do with how well they actually deter and report home invasions.
Instead, the real game changer has been how well our home or professional monitoring keeps us in the loop – no matter where we are or what devices we use.
Smart phone and computer integration
In addition to indoor climate control and lighting, home security control is one of several facets that are controllable remotely via smartphone applications.
Provided a home is equipped with compatible equipment, homeowners can adjust their system, turn on their lights, and even lock their doors from anywhere in the world (effectively eliminating the inconvenience of ever losing your keys.)
Some applications allow customers to tune in to their home monitoring system’s feeds to get a live view of their properties.
This feature can be particularly useful when mobile alarms are activated.
Automatic alarms can be sent to customers when their registered alarms respond to a home invasion.
Not only does this make responding to alarms easier than ever, but it also works when it becomes necessary to report false alarms.
If you have a sudden visitor at your property who needs access to your house, your phone can also work to deactivate your system – which is another great way to make sure that your alarm only goes off when it needs to.
While a convenience for any household, this is especially useful for households in which people come and go in irregular schedules.
Automated arming schedules can be helpful for homes where routines are fairly consistent, but business oriented and on-call individuals can greatly benefit from being able to arm and disarm their property to make sure their system is on guard when it needs to be.
Live Video Analytics
Depending on which elements of your home are compatible with your security system, you can also use mobile devices to check a live event history of your house.
Whether you’re searching for unauthorized access on your property or looking up to whether or not someone in the house is using the smart thermostat, being able to access a live feed of the events of your home is an incredibly useful way to determine the happenings at your property without obsessive oversight.
This can be a great way of checking the comings and goings of delivery men, servicemen, or even babysitters on your property when you’re not available to supervise their activities.
In addition to keeping a tighter watch on your property, this event history is also an invaluable resource on determining your home’s energy consumption and adjusting your habits accordingly.
Are Smart Homes Vulnerable to Hackers?
If something’s connected, like your refrigerator, the possibility of hacking exists. All of these smart home gadgets make it to market without a lot of attention on security, leaving them with “back doors” through which hackers could enter.
This creates a larger “surface area” for potential cyber invasions.
In January 2014, connected refrigerators were actually sending out spam emails.
So don’t think that all of this is just hyped up anxiety. And unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve already heard about the man who hacked into a baby monitor and yelled obscenities through it.
A hacker could infiltrate through any vulnerable device in your house and use it as a launching pad to get into your email account and redirect your web traffic to them.
Though nothing is ever 100 percent secure, the issue boils down to how important it is for you to control your home’s thermostat or coffee pot while you’re away, which means adding one more “smart” thing to your house, increasing its surface area of potential attack.
Smart gadgets are especially vulnerable to attack because they may not be replaced for many years, such as a smart washing machine.
This means the appliance or device needs to have a long-term ability to receive security updates.
So How Do I Make My Smart Home Safe?
To combat security threats, makers of smart gadgets and appliances need to have security in mind from the beginning of manufacturing.
They need to set up a home security monitoring system for these products for as long as they are in use, so that the smart washer is just as protected in its 15th year of use by the homeowner as it is in its first year.
Though the smart coffee pot may come across as a status symbol of a tech-savvy person with money to burn, some smart devices can save money such as a system that monitors water usage and can even identify which pipe has a leak.
The homeowner has to do a risk/benefit analysis and just perhaps forego the coffee pot.
To check if your kids are sleeping you may just have to do it the old-fashioned way: walking to their bedroom and peeking in.
When making an investment in smart home devices make sure to check out the reviews, do your research to see if anyone has experienced security issues.
And make sure to update any software of firmware over the lifespan of the device.
But if you’re worried about your home security in general, here are some tips to help you keep your home just a little bit safer without spending a dime.
12 Simple Smart Ways To Secure Your Home
Burglars actually peruse social media to see who’s on vacation.
In fact, 69 burglars were interviewed by University in Australia, and perusing social media kept coming up as a way to find victims.
So try to keep your cyber mouth shut until you return from your vacation.
Here are 12 other tips to secure your home:
- Get to know your neighbors. This way they’ll be more inclined to ask a stranger, who’s loitering around your yard, what they’re doing there.
- Don’t show off. Like anyone else, burglars are attracted to the niftiest house on the block. Keep a low profile, consider how a new outside decoration might attract the wrong kind of attention
- Apps for your smartphone. There are so many ways you can use your mobile device when away from home to keep tabs on your house.
- Advertise your home security system. Burglars are repelled by the alarm compa