Your Connected Home

The last time that I discussed your connected home it was less than a year ago. Since then we are seeing more TV commercials advertising this. If you look at homes for sale in the newspaper those homes that have home automation feature it. Even “DIY” shows are featuring home automation and the connected home. So what has changed so quickly? I think that technology has gotten to the point where it is quickly evolving and the manufacturers are building automation into their products.

Home automation has been around for many years, the big difference now is connection. Connection to the outside world usually by Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is the game changer and the manufacturers are building it into everything. The real question is are they building in security. Without security you and your home are at risk. So what can you do to protect yourself? As I said earlier I have written about this before, but I feel that this is so important that I will go over it again.

First let’s take a look at what is connected right now, the obvious is your computer, smartphone and tablet. But let’s take this a little further into your home and find some other items. Your television, security system, door locks, thermostat, refrigerator, oven, baby monitor, I could go on but I think that you see the trend. Before long everything in your home will have some form of Wi-Fi built in.

So how do you protect yourself even if the manufacturers are not? Start by making sure that all your connection points to the outside are protected. Why is this important? Let’s say that your thermostat or television have Wi-Fi and automation built in. They cannot communicate to the outside world without going through some type of router or other device such as your smartphone. These are called connection points and these must be secured.

Make sure that your cable router has the latest security software and you use a very strong password. A strong password would be one that it at least 14 characters long with upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Do not use any dictionary words. Make sure that all your other devices such as PC’s, smartphones and tablets also have some type of internet security and that the OS along with the security software is kept updated.

The take-away in the article is that you should take the responsibility to protect yourself, do not count on others.