Smart and Safe: Will Smart Home Technologies Increase Security?

Most Americans feel somewhat insecure in their homes, a new survey finds. Smart home technologies promise to help them feel safer in – and away from — home by giving them greater control of basic home systems.

The survey, from home systems maker Honeywell, found that more than two-thirds of Americans do not always feel totally safe in their own homes.

Smart home technologies may help to alleviate this anxiety by giving people greater (and even remote) control over basic systems like home lighting, garage access and security.

According to the survey, 60% of Americans would like to have an app that controls locks and doors. Another 51% would like one that controls lighting.

Other popular choices include apps controlling heating and cooling (49%), and a surveillance or security camera (42%).

These apps would give homeowners remote control over basic systems that have a bearing on security and safety.

Worried that you might have left the oven turned on? An app can help you to turn it off. Didn’t arm the alarm this morning? No problem, the app can set it.

Of course, these remote, connected technologies are vulnerable to hacking. With sophisticated crooks on the prowl, any technology that gives remote access to home systems can be turned against the homeowner once thieves gain control over them.

We’re seeing this kind of thing happening now with vehicles: thieves hack into the vehicle’s remotely-controlled systems, and use that control to easily steal or disable the vehicle.

The same could be done to smart homes, potentially. So, while these technologies may give us a greater sense of security, this good feeling will only last so long as the technologies themselves are truly secure.

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