When we were kids watching The Jetsons, we all looked forward to the Home of the Future. In the modern dwellings of the year 2000 and up, we just knew we’d have robotic maids, kitchens that automatically cooked our food and sent it zooming through the air onto our plates, and the ability to video chat with friends and family across the world.
With the exception of the video chatting, modern homes may not look like they come out of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have some pretty amazing home security and home automation devices that make our lives infinitely safer and more convenient. It’s important to note that home security and home automation aren’t the same thing, though. Here’s more information about the two categories of devices and how to make them work seamlessly together.
Tying Home Security and Home Automation Together
Let’s start with home automation products. Also known as “smart” devices, these products help keep things running smoothly and more efficiently in our day-to-day lives. They’re also convenient and fun to use. Home automation products can include:
Smart Devices: These products give you the ease of controlling various parts of your home remotely. You can find a smart device for virtually every part of your home imaginable. Common options that help combine home security and home automation include smart door locks and lights. These allow you to lock and unlock doors in your home remotely, whether you went to bed without locking the front door and don’t want to go downstairs or arrived at work and aren’t sure if your kids locked the back door after letting the dog inside that morning. Forgot if you closed your garage? One glance at your app allows you to check, and with the push of a button, you can close the garage door no matter where you are.
Similarly, smart lighting allows you to turn lights off after you leave, ensure that the house is illuminated before anyone returns home from work in the evening, as well as letting you operate lighting to deter burglars while you’re away. Smart thermostats are also useful for controlling your home’s climate remotely (or even just while sitting on the couch). Both of these smart devices are excellent for helping you save electricity.
Smart Appliances: This category of home automation products is centered more around convenience than security. These include washing machines, refrigerators, and music players that you can communicate with and control remotely. Want to start the washer at a specific time or see what’s inside your fridge to verify that you’re out of mayonnaise? Smart appliances have a wide range of functions that make chores faster and easier.
Geofencing Devices: These are popular in households with kids and older loved ones. These devices can notify you when someone leaves or arrives on your property (as long as they’re carrying their cell phone). They can also be set to lock/unlock doors upon someone’s departure or arrival.
Z-Wave Devices: Installing Z-Wave devices can help provide a bridge between your smart devices and your security system. Z-Wave compatible lighting, door locks, and thermostats, for example, can be easily controlled via your home security system. Z-Wave home automation products can also be controlled via the popular Amazon Echo speaker device.
How to Avoid Home Automation Hackers
When you have so many devices connected to the internet, it’s smart to be concerned about home automation hackers. They can range from infuriating tricksters to experienced cybercriminals set on gaining access to your passwords and data or even your home itself.
Home automation hackers can attack using a variety of different methods. They may engage in bluejacking, a relatively harmless activity in which they gain control of a device and interrupt it by sending their own messages. A bluejacker may access someone’s smartphone via a Bluetooth connection and cause spammy or prank messages to appear on it.
Bluesnarfing and bluebugging are the next levels of concern with home automation hackers. In a bluesnarfing attack, someone will attempt to access sensitive data or the passwords used for a specific device. Bluebugging is of particular concern to people who wish to combine home security and home automation, as this attack results in a hacker taking over a device completely. By using bluebugging, home automation hackers could unlock your doors or disarm your security system completely.
This doesn’t mean that you should be frightened away from smart devices, however; it simply means that home automation and security products should be protected in the same way you would your smartphone or computer. This means always changing any default passwords that come with a device and choosing strong passwords that aren’t likely to be cracked. Never connect any of your devices to an unfamiliar network. Also be sure to immediately take advantage of any software updates or security patches that become available for any of your home security and home automation products.
The Equipment You Need For an Automated Security System
One of the best ways to ensure that your home security and home automation products are safely and effectively tied together is to work with a team of experts to install an automated security system. They’ll take a look at your home’s layout and all of the necessary security objectives before creating a customized wireless security system that’s designed with your home and lifestyle in mind.
Creating an automated security system starts with the basics. This includes smart door locks and security sensors. Automated door locks can be opened remotely — whether you need to let in a contractor while you’re at work for the day, your kids forgot their key, or you simply need to unlock the door before you leave from the car and head into the house with an armload of groceries.
Security sensors are another essential part of every automated security system. Installed on your windows and doors, they will monitor and send mobile notifications to your smartphone, as well as the authorities, should they sense a window being broken or a door being unexpectedly opened while the security system is armed. Today’s security systems are also controlled by an app. Want to know when your kids opened the front door and got home from school? Enable notifications on your smartphone and you can know any time the front door or any of your security sensors are triggered — whether your system is armed or not. To check up on these notifications, surveillance cameras are the final piece of the automated security system puzzle. They enable you to immediately see what’s happening in and around your house, whether your security system has been triggered or you simply want to check in for peace of mind.
Why Home Automation Is the Future of Home Security
When home automation was first introduced, it really did seem like it was something out of The Jetsons. Now that devices like smart door locks and thermostats have been around for a few years, they’re starting to become more commonplace.
What will the future bring in terms of home automation? Only time can tell! For now, these products are making homes safer and life more convenient. Tying home security and home automation together can ensure that your home is locked up and only a video feed away, no matter where you are. Mobile notifications constantly keep you in the loop as to what’s going on when you’re not there. Geofencing keeps track of your kids, as well as older parents who need a bit of monitoring during the day. Smart lighting and thermostats are programmable and can save you money by not using extra electricity when your house is empty.
Home automation devices are simple, intuitive to use, and incredibly useful — saving you both time and money. While we wait for our Jetsons houses to finally appear, smart devices are making our homes safer, more convenient, and more cost-effective. It may not be a talking robotic maid, but in the meantime, we’ll take it!
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.