Internet of Things, News, Smart Home

Consumers, Connected Smart Homes and Well-Founded Security Concerns

Smart Home Security - Internet of Things

A recent survey has revealed that despite popular belief, the majority of consumers worldwide are not so excited at the thought of connected smart homes. This comes as a surprise, especially after the amount of campaigning companies have invested in with the purpose of increasing the people’s interest in the Internet of Things. Then again, the news regarding the American government spying on people through their devices may have been the largest factor at play in this case.

The survey was conducted by Gartner in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia on 10,000 people. The results of the survey underlined the fact that only 10% of those polled currently own a connected home in any form. In addition, approximately 75% of people opt for manual control of their homes, while 58% prefer purchasing standalone products that cannot be controlled remotely by apps.

This comes as a punch to the majority of tech companies, as many big names such as Nokia, Microsoft and, more recently, Apple, have been pushing the connected home down their user’s throats online and offline, at expos and tech conferences. Ergo, the Internet of Things, as it is widely known by people due to the added influence of mass media, has been the prized vision of those companies for the future of home comfort, as illustrated through the many concept videos available online.

Internet of Things Security Flaws

That being said, why is the Internet of Things not as desirable in a home as it is at a tech conference? The main reason for the people’s distrust is the fact that the mass media has been rife with news of many intelligence and security agencies snooping on people’s personal lives through the devices connected in their own homes. The distrust of the people is at such a high level that many people choose to tape over their laptop camera. Some even hesitate to discuss important or personal things near their microwaves in fear of being listened to.

There is one more factor at play here, though. The Internet can be many things: a huge encyclopedia, a means of communicating or simply a way to read the latest news. There’s one thing the Internet can’t be, and that is trusted. Everyone has read about online trolls destroying people’s lives solely for their entertainment, so what would happen if you allowed things such as light bulbs or even gas ovens to be connected remotely from the Internet? Pure chaos, as several YouTube videos explicitly show. Using shodan.io, a search directory for all devices connected to the Internet, people are able to control security cameras and even light bulbs that aren’t protected by a password.

What does the future hold?

To sum up, seeing the low percentage of people who would opt for smart homes is a bit astounding at first, but just a few YouTube videos are enough to put you off the idea. It’s unclear whether companies will end up winning over their consumers or how they will do it exactly, but it might take a while for the numerous scandals to be forgotten about.

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