Consumers have been raising numerous concerns regarding the safety of their smart home devices (also known as “connected home devices”). A recent polling, consisting of 1,106 home owners in the United States, revealed that only 37% of the respondents think that their IoT (Internet of Things) products (such as smart connected lighting, proximity based thermostats and smart locks) are adequately protected from cyber threats.
The report was commissioned by the DNS service provider Nominum, from the market researcher YouGov.
Lack of Security
Nominum says that consumers are feeling less secure as their digital world expands and more and more internet-connected products are being used. This is because these products can be hacked, without their owners being aware of that. For example – one can easily get locked out of house, if a hacker takes control over the house smart lock.
Others admit that there are many things about smart home tools that they don’t understand that well. Only 52% of the respondents think that they understand the ins and outs of internet-related threats to a point where they’re able to choose and maintain the right tools to secure their home.
Keep it Simple
People are looking for greater simplicity when it comes to cyber security. They need more user-friendly solutions in order to figure out how to protect their IoT devices from being hacked. 80% of those who said that they feel that their IoT devices are exposed to cyber hacks, would prefer to use simple protection methods, which don’t require too much research and are easy to use from the start.
Install Safety Tools
Only 36% of the respondents claim that they have gone the extra mile to make sure that their home-connected devices are protected from hackers. Why haven’t the other 64% of respondents done so? Most probably, it’s either because the majority of consumers are unaware of them, or maybe they find the processes too complicated to maneuver. 48% mentioned that they do understand how to keep their IoT tools safe, while 27% said they were unaware of any available solutions.
One of the biggest problems is gateway passwords. The report revealed that 58% of the consumers have either never changed their router or home gateway password, haven’t changed it in over a year, or don’t know how to do it at all.
Internet Service Provider
Nominum says that Internet service providers must supply everything that is required for online protection to their customers. ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) can provide safer, better online experience for everyone and all the devices that are connected to the internet (not only computers, mobile phones and tablets). Consumers are seeking uncomplicated, straightforward solutions that keep up with fast paced online threats, without compromising on user experience or performance quality.
Nominum offered some helpful advice to home owners, including installing security software on other smart devices besides their PC’s, Macs and smartphones, changing the passwords on routers and taking advantage of parental controls rhetoric. It also suggests tips such as researching and getting familiar with all internet-connected devices. One should learn to understand how to treat home-connected tools and ensure that their software is being upgraded when there is a need for it. Such attitude will decrease the probability that a home owner will find himself locked out of his house or have some other unpleasant experience, due to a cyber hacking issue.
Such gadgets as smart connected bulbs, smart home energy managers and smart locks are quite convenient and useful, but it’s important to make sure that nobody but the home owners themselves are able to control them, no matter what it takes.