As part of home security month, Atalian Servest’s security experts take a look at the dramatic impact smart home technology is having on our lives. This rapidly advancing field of consumer electronics is helping people to secure their homes more quickly and affordably than ever before.
The security of security technology
As with any new technology, the concept of ‘consumerisation’ is leading the way and the adoption of new Internet of Things (IOT) capabilities in the security arena is no different. For the casual home user looking to adopt these new technologies, an awareness of the different ecosystems and how intrinsically safe the devices are themselves is an important consideration, especially when you consider that you are connecting the devices to your home internet. The UK government’s intelligence agency GCHQ have recently updated their code of practice for consumer IoT security and they are pushing hardware manufacturers to ensure that the products they sell consumers for security are, in fact, secure. ARM and Intel, two of the world’s largest chip manufacturers (and arch rivals) have recently agreed to work together to secure consumer IoT.
5 smart home technologies to keep your home secure
The Atalian Servest security team have chosen five of their favourite smart home technologies below, these are just some of the many available that are making a big impact to home security.
1. Giving you access to smart lights
Smart light bulbs allow you to control your home lighting from your mobile device when you are away from home. Ensuring you have total control of every light in your home, whenever you need it. You can set automatic timers, so that certain lights turn on or go off, at set times of the day. Giving the illusion of a busy household, which can deter potential burglars and intruders. The flexibility of controlling lighting through an app on your phone means that if you are away from home later than expected or you are in a rush out of the door in the morning and leave a light on, you can make a change at the touch of a button.
Recommended product: Phillips Hue, voted a Best Buy in the Independent, is available as a starter pack with both white colourful bulbs. Prices start from £59.99
2. Going mobile with your security cameras
Home security cameras have long been a useful tool for safety-conscious homeowners. However, modern systems allow you to integrate your cameras with any mobile device. You can then log in and view your cameras from absolutely anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. This means you can keep an eye on your property in real time, and take actions based on what you see, whether this is calling the police or activating an alarm.
Recommended product: The Nest Cam IQ is one of the most comprehensive home security camera systems available. When paired with a Nest Aware subscription, it boasts facial recognition and can tell the difference between a friend and a stranger. Prices start from £299 per camera.
3. Knowing when to answer the door
Smart doorbells are bringing added peace of mind to hundreds of thousands of homeowners all over the world. When someone rings your smart doorbell, an application automatically loads on your phone which gives a visual feed of whoever is at your door. No longer do you have to call through the door and trust the word of whoever is there. Instead, you can choose to answer or ignore without them even knowing you’re at home. This can be invaluable for vulnerable people who live alone, not only do they know who is at the door, they can entrust a family member to.
Recommended product: The first and still the best known is Ring, who have a variety of doorbells available from the battery powered Ring 2 to the more complex Ring Pro. Started with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, the company was bought by Amazon in early 2018. Prices for Ring start from £179, but there are others on the market for under £100.
4. Never forget to lock up
We have all faced the nagging worry of leaving a door unlocked, in many cases you have to go out of your way to check on, what is more often than not, an already locked door. With smart locks, this worry is mitigated. From an app on your phone, you can check that all doors and windows are locked, and if you have missed one, lock it from whether you are in the world.
Another benefit of smart locks, you can set notifications that alert you anytime a lock is tampered with or opened. This means you can call the police, check security cameras or take other steps to keep your home secure.
5. Sharing security with others
A crucial benefit of smart homes is that the tools can all be accessed not only by you, but also those you love and trust, as you can sync things like smart lighting, locks and alarm systems to more than one device. This is particularly valuable for the families of vulnerable individuals, especially those who live alone. If an attempt is made to enter their home, then any carers or family members can be immediately notified, allowing for a quick response to any threats. These same systems can also be used to alert the relevant people of medical emergencies.
As these devices become more popular, they are becoming much more affordable. They are also becoming cheaper to develop, so newer technologies are coming on to the market all of the time. Meaning that whether you are a tenant or a homeowner, live in one bedroom flat or a sweeping mansion, there are smart home security measures to suit your home and your budget.