A smart home security system has many features which bring extra peace of mind, compared to a traditional ‘bell’ burglar alarm. What you get will depend on the package and the brand that you choose, but a standard feature is a wireless camera that connects to your smartphone or tablet.
Being able to watch what’s going on inside your home from wherever you are gives you that extra level of reassurance, but exactly how safe is it? You need to do some careful research before choosing your brand and alarm system installation company.
There are plenty of cheap options available online, but they may be a false economy. A recent survey by Which? consumer magazine found that widely available, mass produced internet-connected cameras could have security flaws which put your privacy at risk.
They can also be advertised as pet or baby monitors, and have critical issues which allow them to be easily hacked. It is estimated that up to 50,000 cameras in the UK are prey to potential snoopers, who could see inside your home, expose private data, and even gain complete control of the system.
If you do have any doubts about your security system, change your passwords first, and if you are still worried, then switch off and unplug the device. Even the thought of someone spying into your home will ruin your peace of mind.
Research your brands carefully before you buy a new system. Don’t just rely on positive reviews on internet marketplaces, because these could be faked. Check if the security system company has a reputable looking website with a support service, such as Ajax.
Good quality home security systems will have inbuilt features to protect your privacy. Of course, everyone should use the strongest password possible with a mixture of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Never use personal information such as your name, street address, or important dates.
Many systems will detect logins from an unrecognised device and send you an immediate notification from their app, allowing you to block a hacker instantly. Look for a two-factor authentication system, which a second log-in verification, proving ownership of a physical identifier such as a smartphone.
It’s best to have your smart security system installed by a reputable company, to ensure that it’s set up and functioning properly. A recent Which? survey found that just 16% of smart security alarm buyers did the installation themselves.