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Are smart homes safe?

Privacy, hacking and cybersecurity

What are the key things you should look out for?

Whether you’re considering a smart home solution or you’re already enjoying the lifestyle advantages on offer from smart devices in your home, understanding the privacy options and risks of smart homes is a major consideration.

Smart homes can offer many benefits that help you stay connected. Similar to how we access our email, social media profiles or bank accounts every day, the advantages of this extra functionality and connectivity should be balanced with the risks it can introduce.

The convenience, comfort and efficiency that smart home technology can bring to your life are undeniable, but as with any exciting new opportunity – doing your research is a vital step.

So what risks are there when you create a smart home?

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1. Get the basics right

The key to the window is your personal credentials. Your username/email address and the password you provide.

Going through the basics of not sharing your password, using something that is not easily guessable, not using the same password for everything and periodically changing your password can seem a hassle, but are pivotal steps to help.

Though the password management process can be burdensome, there are some excellent password managers and apps available offering all manner of encryption and convenience. We also recommend taking advantage of two-factor authentication where possible.

The bottom line is to be serious about the administration of your home network. Carefully choose how many layers of authentication you require, who needs to be able to access certain things, and under what circumstances.

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consultation

4. Choose experts

Working with professionals goes for both the manufacturer of your smart devices and the people you choose to install and commission them.

There are countless electricians and specialist smart home installers available in New Zealand, all with varying levels of experience with this technology and associations or preferences for various solutions.

An important factor is whether your chosen installer has received any official training from the product manufacturer, on installing and commissioning the solution they are recommending.

The right installer will be an expert in the smart home solution you’ve selected and will be able to answer your questions and make recommendations specific to the unique needs of you and your family.

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The more you know

Ultimately the installation and administration of your new smart home should be a rewarding experience if you take the right steps and work with the right people.

Yes there are risks, but this can be said for many of the things we do today online like using banking apps, email, social media and messaging.

PDL by Schneider Electric has been helping to create smart homes in New Zealand for over 20 years, and continues to research and develop new exciting and innovative smart home solutions.

If you like to hear and learn from other people's experiences, then take a look through our New Zealand smart home case studies. There are a number of Kiwi smart home examples to help give you more insights into living with a smart home, from simple to high-end homes.