Smart home applications have taken the world by storm in the last few years, with consumers rushing to outfit their homes with the latest and greatest technology which promises to automate the most mundane tasks.
Turn your heating off from work when you’ve forgotten to do it at home. Switch the lights off from your bed. Control your TV with your voice. Monitor your home even when you’re away. The gadgets can also boost sustainability, cost savings and benefit safety.
Yet they do pose security risks and users must take precautions. Just as you would protect your computer from hacking your personal information, you need to think about how you will protect your Alexa, which stores all sorts of personal data.
Smart devices are categorised under the “Internet of Things”, which connects all devices together, from smart toasters to smartphones and even wearables. It’s all connected. Recent Cisco insight found that by 2020, there will be more than 30 billion connected devices in the world. There is also 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced every day – that’s 2.5 followed by 18 zeros. Take a look at the below infographic from Domo’s “Data Never Sleeps” campaign which shows just how much data in 2018 was processed every minute of every single day:
Security Risks
Think about it: a smart home fully equipped with appliances would cover the kitchen, the bedroom, bathroom, garden, living room, etc. If you’re logging your daily activities and rituals, it’s going to have a bucketload of data and the potential to know everything about you, from lighting preferences to individual family members’ daily schedules.
Just a few months ago, Amazon faced backlash after the Amazon Alexa assistant was reported to let out random bouts of eerie laughter and a user in Germany was sent 1,700 audio recordings from someone he did not

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