The reality of smart technology these days seems to almost be science fiction. However, the great promise of smart devices combining to form a smart home is not without concerns. There are those who question the idea that a smart home can be safer than those using more traditional safety methods.
Aren’t Electronics Targets for Thieves?
A smart home is typically focused around smart gadgets and electronics. Traditional thinking may lead some to believe this can increase the value of your home in the eyes of a thief, but the reality may be quite different. Smart homes can deploy a number of unique safety and security features that can discourage burglary. One thing to keep in mind is that burglars typically go for the easiest targets, not necessarily most valuable. Using smart home camera systems, doorbells and locks can all be a visible deterrent to a would-be thief scoping out the neighborhood. The risk of being caught on camera or having a wary homeowner with a handy app contacting the police is more than many burglars will risk.
Typical Smart Security
The most common smart home security upgrades revolve around surveillance. Popular doorbell cams such as the Ring or Nest keep an eye on your front door. Camera systems may be placed around the exterior of your home to cover any other entrance a burglar may use. For nighttime protection, using smart bulbs gives you a host of options to keep your home strategically illuminated inside and out. Smart locks dispense with the need to keep a physical key hidden nearby and give you the peace of mind of being able to make sure your doors are locked no matter where you are.
The most engaging thing about a smart home isn’t just the fancy gadgets, but rather how interconnected everything is and how easily controlled it can be. Many security system apps integrate with security devices in houses. This means that you can actively monitor your home from anywhere. Did you forget to lock your door halfway to work? Not a problem. Did your camera send an alert about motion in your backyard? Just pull it right up and check it out from the palm of your hand. You can even integrate non-security smart home features into the mix as well. Smart thermostats have been an early staple of the smart home, but we are now even seeing things like smart stoves and ovens that can be turned on from an app. This all adds up to a very user-friendly experience and the potential to be as safe and secure as ever.
Digital Risk and Hacking
So, a smart home may not be a burglar magnet, but that doesn’t mean it is without risk entirely. The biggest issue with connected smart devices is that they are connected at all. This, of course, means hacking and unauthorized use, as well as potentially bringing in privacy concerns. While there really is no guarantee that your network and devices can be hack-free, you can absolutely take steps to make that a very difficult proposition. Most risks can be avoided through relatively quick steps and regular maintenance. Just as burglars go for the easiest targets, so generally do cybercriminals.
While there is some risk, smart homes offer many benefits. These mostly relate back to how your security can be upgraded to deter or catch burglars and home intruders or make your own life easier through connectivity. However, it is worth thinking about other possible uses for the smart home as well. Digital locks let you open the door at your convenience, which can be ideal for keeping an eye or kids or allowing dog or house sitters access while you vacation. Smart lights and bulbs can automatically light up not just burglars, but also friends or family coming over to visit after dark, preventing trips or falls. They can also be used to give all kinds of different mood lighting for events or parties you may host.
As with many things in life, smart homes are all about the risk versus reward trade-off. It is true that technology is certainly not risk-free, but it is also true that it has the potential to make many aspects of your life easier and provide you with greater overall safety. By being aware of the risks you can manage that to a point where a smart home could be a life-changing investment.