Technology has grown exponentially, and it hasn’t all been linear growth. Technology has branched off into thousands of directions. Some of it has been to improve the quality of life for humans. Some of it has been to earn profits. Sometimes, both of these objectives converge and lead to growth in the use of specific bits of tech. Smart homes are an example. However, smart technology does have a flip side.
The Dark Side of Smart Technology
The smart technology bandwagon gained traction with the popularity of smartphones. From there, the trend snowballed, with more and more powerful smartphones emerging every few months. After that, the next step was to turn everyday “dumb” devices like thermostats and light switches and make them “smart”. This led to the creation of smart devices communicating over the internet, and the next logical step was smart homes that did everything for you.
Today, almost every home has a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa. Alexa connects to the internet and uses voice commands to do things like order pizza and pay for your Spectrum Internet packages. But smart devices have a dark side as well. This blog explores the following 3 key risks of smart technology:
- Smart Speakers Can Make Unauthorized Purchases
- IoT Devices are Vulnerable to Hackers and Malfunctions
- Hackers can Steal Your Identity From Smart Home Tech
Let’s take a closer look at these risk areas below.
Smart speakers make our lives convenient. Whether you want to play the new Tool album or you want to place an order at a local restaurant, your smart speaker can carry out many mundane tasks. But people often tend to overlook the risks of allowing smart speakers access to your bank information and vendors.
Think of it this way. Do you remember the South Park episode that pranked everyone and made their Amazon smart speakers order tons of pizza? That was just a demonstration of how smart speakers can be used to make purchases you never authorized. Whether it’s your child ordering an expensive toy, or a hacker defrauding you, your smart speaker can be a liability.
The best defense you have is to take the following steps:
- Disable the voice commands feature and use the remote feature instead.
- Keep changing your wake word from Alexa to Amazon to Computer.
- Only allow pin-activated purchases instead of voice purchases.
IoT Devices are Vulnerable to Hackers and Malfunctions
We get used to the convenience of our ovens turning off and on and our doors locking and unlocking automatically. But these very smart devices can actually become a liability. The biggest threat is a malfunction. If you rely too much on IoT devices, you should know they are not 100% foolproof. Also, If your IoT oven controller malfunctions, you could have a fire on your hands. If your IoT door lock malfunctions, your home is open to potential theft or burglary.
And that’s just if the device malfunctions on its own. Since all the IoT devices in your home are connected to the same network, a hacker can take control of all of them. This could make for unwelcome strangers watching your home, carrying out criminal activity, or even causing damage to your property.
Hackers can Steal Your Identity From Smart Home Tech
We have already discussed above how devices connected to the internet, like smart home IoT devices, can be vulnerable to hackers. All the smart devices you use for home security like automatic door locks, fingerprint scanners, door cameras, and smart security systems can be hacked. Hackers can break into one or more of your IoT devices and use them to steal your digital identity.
Hackers can intercept all sorts of information over the network they hack, such as your routine, your bank account information, and even passwords for other devices like a Spectrum digital receiver or a digital safe. Home Smart technology is certainly a novelty and people claim that it does indeed improve the way we live. But the pitfalls cannot and should not be ignored.