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Security or security risk?

The holidays are here, and stores from tech to hardware are pushing Smart Home devices.

From voice recognition with Alexa to smart door locks, and wi-fi security cameras by many manufacturers, the choices are many. There are even smart door locks that can let in friends and family members while you are away.

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With so many choices out there designed to make life easier and more secure, people are often so excited by the convenience that they don't consider that these devices could be a big security risk.

The issue is that any device
that can be controlled
from outside your home,
can also be controlled by someone else
outside your home.

The issue is that any device that can be controlled from outside your home can also be controlled by someone else outside your home.

All that stands between you and someone else gaining access to your system is usually just a username and password. If someone can get those, they can just as easily log in, see when you are away from your house, and let themselves in.

Furthermore, since control is usually through an account that you created through an app or website, anyone else logging in can also see any other personal information.

In 2018, the Google-owned Nest system sent out emails warning their customers that their accounts had been compromised. The company was unclear if there had been a data breach of their system or if lists of hacked Nest usernames and passwords had been published on hacking websites.

When purchasing any smart device, especially something that can see into your home or unlock doors, make sure that you use a very secure password.

Secure passwords consist of capital letters, numbers, and even things like exclamation points or other symbols.

Some system logins can also be set up for what is called multi-factor authentication. This is where you have to enter more than your login and password to gain access. This extra layer could be a PIN or an answer to a secret question. Some sites even send a code to your phone that you have to enter when logging in. However, I personally see this as a potential hassle if, for example, your spouse is at home trying to log in, and the code comes to your cell phone while at work.

The bottom line is that you should always consider anything that comes into your house via the web or an app as a possible security risk.

If you have concerns about your website's performance, don't wait! Our WebUpdate sites take advantage of advanced security, SEO, social, and responsive features than other websites- giving your business the best competitive edge online.

Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design, the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.

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