By B.N. Frank
“Smart” Homes may sound like the coolest thing ever. However, privacy and security experts have warned for many years about privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with ALL “Smart” and wireless technology including “Smart” home appliances (Alexa, Google Nest, etc.), light bulbs, TVs, and everything that uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology (see 1, 2).
Last month, researchers proposed product warning labels that would make it easier for consumers to understand the risks. Of course, manufacturers may not be interested in advertising any of this because their “Smart” products also allow them to collect data on consumers to analyze and sell to 3rd parties. This is referred to as “Surveillance Capitalism.”
More details about “Smart” home hacking and IoT vulnerability were described in a recent article.
Can Smart Homes be Hacked?
Can Smart Homes be Hacked? This is a very important question, especially when getting hacked means people can gain unwanted access into your home. Most smart home owners are either to scared to find out the answer or do not know enough about home networking to understand the answer.
We spent some time researching this question. We also spent a lot more time finding a way to convey the answer in such a way that the average (or potential) smart home owner can understand and gain valuable insights.
Let’s get straight into the answer.
The Short Answer
The short answer is YES, smart homes can definitely be hacked. Let’s briefly go over why. You should stick around however and read the long answer too as it gives important background into why smart homes can be hacked.
The Long (but Important) Answer
Smart Homes and IoT
You cannot talk about smart homes without mentioning IoT (Internet of Things). All smart home devices are IoT devices but not all IoT devices are smart home devices.
Why is this so important? Initially, IoT devices were targeted to factories and manufacturing-focused enterprises. The main selling point was being able to use these devices to monitor the factories in real-time and to also allow factory owners to automate certain aspects of the factory. For example, being able to switch factory lights on and off at certain defined intervals or being able to monitor the health of the machines at the factory.
This means IoT was initially targeted towards enterprises that could afford to create and operate their own security if the device’s security was not enough. That “if” is where the trouble begins. “If” the device is not secure enough then you are in for a world of trouble.
However, with every consumer-facing solution, there are standards and guides that make sure the solution is safe for customers to use. You are probably breathing a sigh of relief. The standards exist, they are strong and they will protect your smart home.
What if I told you most IoT devices do not have any security standards at all?
Another disadvantage to having a “Smart” Home is software power outages which can and do happen (see 1, 2).
Additional “Smart” and wireless products vulnerable to privacy and cybersecurity risks include cell phones (see 1, 2, 3), medical devices and implants (see 1, 2), personal and utility “Smart” meters (electric, gas, and water), and wearables (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
“Smart” and wireless products also emit harmful electromagnetic radiation (aka “Electrosmog”) which can
- cause and/or increase blood sugar fluctuations
- cause and/or increase cardiac health issues
- cause hair loss
- cause and/or increase insomnia
- cause rashes, other skin irritations, and premature skin aging
- compromise respiratory health
- disrupt the blood-brain barrier (see 1, 2, 3)
- increase cancer risk (see 1. 2. 3, 4, 5. 6)
- increase risk for “Microwave Sickness” (see 1, 2), EMF Sensitivity (see 1, 2)and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
- reduce fertility, fetal, pregnancy, and sperm health
- reduce immunity to viruses and other illnesses
- and MORE (see 1, 2)
Got pets? Exposure can affect them too.
Internet connections can be made safer, more secure, and more reliable with wired Ethernet connections. Many have already made the switch.