NEWS

Dispelling Home Automation Fears

March 22, 2017

We get it, giving control of your house over to gadgets feels like asking a stranger to watch your kids. Technophobia is a real thing partly caused by negative depictions of future technologies in movies and documentaries. In movies, people are exposed to apocalyptic computer viruses, disobedient personal robots, and AI that manipulates humanity while using them as fuel. A New York-based creative consultancy firm, Lippincott, released a survey in 2016 that revealed that 81 percent of people like the idea of automation but 73 percent do not trust machines.

Even Steven Hawking, the world renowned Physicist, is known to have warned that AI could “end the human race.” These concerns have existed from the time the first light bulb was turned on. No wonder you are a little wary of home automation. It’s now time to start dispelling these home automation fears:

Fear 1: Home automation is a waste of money

What if it doesn’t work as the ad said it would? What if all this hype is for nothing? There are people concerned that home automation is just like Google Glass. Google Glass promised users liberation from constantly pulling out their phones from their pockets to check notifications. But its extremely high cost and weird design were what drove the last nail into its coffin.

Home automation devices are different because they help you save money. Smart thermostats can set different temperature levels in different rooms depending on whether they are occupied or not. They can also turn themselves off when they detect that there is no one home and start warming the house when they know you are coming back home. This scheduling helps lower your electricity bills thus saving you money. There are also systems that help you monitor the amount of power you use in your home for different devices.

Fear 2: Is my camera watching me?

The very thought that your smart camera could be sending pictures and videos of you to a third-party is nightmarish. That is why it is important to choose an automation vendor that takes issues of security seriously. For instance, the company that makes Nest products indicates that Nest apps and devices transmit data to the cloud using AES 128-bit Encryption and Transport Layer Security.

For the Nest Cam, you must first log into your account and scan a QR code before controlling the device. Even third-party tools that integrate with Nest have to go through a thorough certification process before integration is allowed. Belkin WeMo devices transmissions are also encrypted while each Philips Hue Bridge has a unique verification key. If one Hue Bridge is compromised, hackers still won’t be able to use it to take over the other bridges and in the process create a botnet.

In the rare cases where hackers have managed to infiltrate a home automation system, you find that the devices were still using standardized manufacturer default passwords. After installing your automation devices, change the default passwords to your own secure password especially if your devices use a Wi-Fi network. Most home automation vendors take your security seriously because their reputation is also on the line.

Fear 3: They are difficult to use

There is a fear out there that home automation devices make life more complicated because they think the systems are prone to bugs and depend on “learning algorithms.” However, setting up these devices is not that difficult to do. For instance, you can configure the Fibaro Button to control compatible devices in your home using a series of clicks. Once you stick it to your door, kitchen counter or table all you need to do is click.

You can also centralize the control of these devices so that you don’t have to use a specialized app for each device. Automation hubs and apps like IFTTT are a godsend because they allow you to integrate all your smart devices and make them work in unison. Apart from that, there are several videos online that show you step-by-step how to install and integrate these smart devices. Check out the product’s page on our site to watch these videos, as well as download the manufacturer’s installation guides.

Remember you are not giving the control of your home over to these devices. You are using the devices to maintain your position as the “Lord” of your home with as little effort as possible. We provide PDF manuals and videos that teach you how to install and use these devices. Visit our website and follow our blog today for more information about securing your home automation system.

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