From smart phones to smart devices, the current generation love for everything they own to be smart. And the statistics speak for themselves. According to ComfyLiving, 86% of millennials would pay more for a connected home. Millennials, who were born amidst the technology boom are so comfortable with technology that enables almost everything to be accessible at the tips of fingers. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are the most excited about owning and living in a smart home.
Smart Devices Make Lives Easier!
In fact, most of them are willing to pay 20% more for a home with smart devices, smart home statistics state. But it is not just the millennials who are comfortable with having smart devices at home. In the same article it stated that 11. 8.2 million baby boomers owned smart speakers in 2018. Baby boomers are defined as the generation of people born between 1946 and 1964 so it is clear that even the elderly find comfort at the ease of operations of smart devices.
Many products and services are catering to the needs of the elderly, from smart pillboxes to fall detectors and voice-activated appliances. As healthcare becomes more accessible to seniors thanks to home automation systems, statistics unsurprisingly reveal that 65% of boomers are willing to spend more money on smart devices for the home and garden.
But did you know that the everyday smart devices that you have at home puts you in a vulnerable position? Yes, that robot vacuum cleaner that travels the length of your home while sucking up dirt and debris can be hacked. So can the smart refrigerator, that smart TV, the printer that has been your lifesaver during the lock downs, voice activated speakers, and that innocuous baby monitor. Is there a setback to being a Smart nation?
Are These Devices Safe Though?
I bet you are now looking at all the smart device in your home as a villainous character that appears in horror movies and you should. ComfyLiving reveals that 40.8% of smart homes have at least one device vulnerable to cyber attacks that put the whole home in danger. Despite numerous heightened warnings about protecting your smart home from hackers and security breaches, more than 69% are still at risk due to weak access credentials, and 31.4% are in danger as a result of unpatched software vulnerabilities.
And if you are wondering which is the most exposed item in your house , you will be surprised to learn that it is your printer! In a Forbes article titled “Nearly A Million Printers At Risk Of Attack, Thousands Hacked To Prove It” the article starts off with how an experiment by ethical hackers had resulted in approximately 28,000 printers, giving their owners an unexpected lesson in cybersecurity. Seemingly unprompted, the printers whirred to life and produced a 5-step guide to keeping hackers at bay.
“This printer has been hacked,” the message began ominously. Fortunately for the “victims” it was a group of ethical hackers behind the attack. A team of researchers from CyberNews was out to remind the public about the potential peril of connected devices.
To get the ball rolling, the team scoured the globe for printers that were vulnerable. They found more than 800,000 in total using a search engine called Shodan – a tool that’s leaned on by both security researchers and cyber criminals.
World Economic Forum in the article “5 surprisingly hackable items in your home – and what you can do to make them safer” identifies the smart TV, video doorbell & smart security system, robot vacuum cleaner, smart garage door opener, and baby monitor as sharing the same weaknesses where not only are these items connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) but they are also a part of your home WiFi network.
Ways To Keep Your Home and Smart Devices Safe
If you have become so accustomed to having your smart devices run your life and home, what can you do to be less susceptible to being hacked? The same article outlines a few steps as suggested by Euroconsumers, that you can apply:
1. Connect devices with an ethernet cable when possible, in preference to WiFi
2. Use strong and unique passwords
3. Always change the default name of your WiFi network after it’s installed
4. Use two-step verification
5. Keep your devices updated and turn them off when you are not using them
6. Always complete the device set-up when you use it for the first time
7. Don’t buy cheap connected devices.