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Avoid These Smart Home Devices with Questionable Security

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Avoid These Smart Home Devices with Questionable Security

Which smart home devices pose the biggest risk to your cyber security? The smart home is a novel concept and one that marries concepts like convenience with efficiency for a great way to go about your daily routines. That said, the old-fashioned way of doing things might be preferred when looking at these 10 devices and the inherent flaws they pose for your data.

Lightbulbs

smart home devices
You might want to stick to old-fashioned lightbulbs for the time being.

There are plenty of reasons to go with lightbulbs as one of your smart home devices. However, smart bulbs pose all sorts of issues when integrated into a home network. Since the computer chips on most devices are fairly lightweight and simple, there isn’t much room for security. As such, it could serve as a point of entry for a hacker.

Pet Monitoring Devices

Dog paws with a spot in the form of heart and human hand close up, top view. Conceptual image of friendship, trust, love, the help between the person and a dog
It can be tough leaving your pet at home without a way to keep an ear on them.

Keeping track of your pets can help give you some peace of mind. However, this is one of many smart home devices with security concerns. Much like the light bulbs you’ll find on the market, the computer chips integrated into these devices don’t have much in the way of security. Hackers can even use them to listen to what’s happening inside your home.

Doorbells

Doorbell Camera vs. Ring Doorbell
A smart doorbell could end up exposing you to all sorts of hacking attacks.

Ring and Blink doorbells have made the rounds in the news and tech sites for a number of years. It makes sense to have one at your home, especially given the extra security they can provide. However, this is yet another of the smart home devices which poses a real security risk. Smart doorbells can allow hackers to see you coming and going before making a move.

Thermostats

Nest Learning Thermostat
A smart thermostat can end up letting hackers know when you’re home or not.

Smart thermostats are one of the great inventions to come out of the Internet of Things. However, they do pose a rather real security risk when compared to a traditional one. Security is lax on these, and something as innocent as your heating and cooling preferences can indicate when you’re home or away for an extended duration.

Refrigerators

cropped view of man holding unplugged power cord of fridge isolated on white
A smart fridge might end up being a massive security concern.

I’ll be upfront in saying I don’t understand the appeal of a smart fridge. This is yet another of the many smart home devices with questionable security. When they are connected to your home network, they act essentially as an insecure point of entry. Hackers can even use them to mine for cryptocurrencies, leading to an increase in power usage.

Locks

The 5 Best Wifi Door Locks Today
Smart locks can be fantastic but also pose some real security risks.

Smart locks on paper are a great concept. However, you might find yourself sticking to their dumber counterparts. While keyless entry is great in theory, cheaper models have nothing in the way of encryption. This makes for yet another of the many smart home devices with lax security. You could be opening your home literally to bad actors.

Vacuums

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
Your robotic vacuum could be showing hackers the entire layout of your home.

Robot vacuums are great, especially for busy households. That said, they pose a massive security risk, which can be the bane of anyone enjoying smart home devices. Robotic vacuums typically map out the nooks and crannies of your home, meaning a hacker has access to the full layout of your house if they can access the vacuum cleaner.

Smart Speakers

Google Nest Audio display
Your smart speaker could be listening even when you aren’t using it.

Smart speakers have been all the rage since the introduction of the Amazon Echo. They aren’t bulletproof when it comes to security, unfortunately. This ends up being one of those smart home devices which actively ends up spying on you. They can also serve as an entry point for hackers if you don’t have your home network running extra security.

TVs

LG C3 TV
A fancy TV is great, but it can also let hackers listen and watch what you’re doing.

It is hard to get a normal television these days. Even budget models like Onn come as a smart TV now. The embedded cameras and speakers on some smart TVs can act as an entry point for hackers. I don’t need to explain how creepy it is to be watched and listened to by someone who isn’t in your home.

Baby Monitors

50s slang
While it might seem tempting to get a fancy baby monitor, you might want to skip it.

Babies are one of life’s great joys. The smart baby monitors making the rounds at most retailers are a security nightmare, ironically enough. Like the other smart home devices throughout this guide, security is minimal when looking at the integrated chips. This leads to hackers being able to listen in on your home while you aren’t even there.

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