Posts Tagged as Smart Homes

Are Your Communications Secure?

Smart Home Hackers: What Agents Should Know

In this week’s real estate selling tips: Is smart home technology putting you and your clients at risk? Purported to bring convenience, security, and improved connectivity, smart services are instead bringing unauthorized surveillance, loss of privacy, and compromised data, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).

What’s the IoT?
The combined/synergistic use of mobile apps, cloud storage, big data, automation, sensors, and more, attached to everyday items, processes and systems, part-and-parcel of everything from your phone and laptop to your TV, appliances, door locks, and security. Case(s) and point(s): Recent WikiLeaks on the CIA’s (and other hackers’) ability to spy on you via TV – not to mention last October’s massive, internet service disrupting, distributed DDoS attack.

The IoT-DDoS Conundrum
Each of these devices relies on the cloud to operate, either for analysis or as a communications path to other devices, forming a “botnet” of devices. But there is no magical “cloud” – only someone else’s computer, such as company Dyn’s DNS system – the one hacked last October. Protection of botnets, to date, is woefully insufficient, and devices are so prolific that if a mere portion of those in homes were comprised, it could prove disastrous. The best protection? Keeping these devices out, as even password-protected gadgets are NOT secure, and informing clients of smart home risks.

Isn’t Technology Grand?
The magic of the cloud comes at a price…. Continual transfer of personal data (habits, speech, possessions) funneled away to an assortment of third parties is a privacy rabbit hole that leads to technological nightmares.

  • A 2016 Nest’s smart thermostat glitch caused batteries to drain, leaving consumers without heat – in January – with no way to turn it back on. The fix: Nine-steps, included a 3-hour charge-cycle.
  • Samsung’s smart refrigerator photograph contents – great if you lost your shopping list; bad for advertising your prescriptions – and allowing insurers to peruse your dietary choices.
  • Beware of “smart’ tech terms of service, which limits damages, prohibits class action lawsuits, and requires resolution via arbitration.

Spy any good real estate selling tips? Properties Online has you covered.

What Will Buyers Want in 2016? Smart Homes!

Smart Everything Even Your Home!
Smart Everything Even Your Home!

Buyers want smart homes? What’s that? Don’t worry, if you don’t know the slightest about smart homes, you’re not dumb. Technology, like real estate trends, is constantly changing. Sometimes it can be hard to stay in the driver’s seat. Smart homes, or homes with built-in intelligence systems, are rapidly gaining in popularity, causing buyers to increasingly look for more high-tech home upgrades as technology advances.

Who’s doing the driving?
The “Internet of Things” or “IoT” – the connectivity of everyday objects to the internet and one another. A phenomenon embraced and expected by the general public in all manner of applications. As wireless internet technology advances, easier to operate, more cost effective, smarter experiences can be provided in the home.

Crash course
There are an array of home technology options, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Z-Wave, with various compatible home automation devices. However technology compatibility issues abound, especially when a mix of wireless home technology solutions are used. The goal in the not-so-distant future: compatibility. Major players in the smart home technology market are joining forces in support of an open wireless network standard that would allow interoperability among various products.

What types of smart devices will buyers be on the lookout for, according to real estate trends?

  • Smart washers and dryers
    Energy efficient and able to communicate via WiFi to run at times when energy rates are lowest.
  • Learning thermostats
    Able to learn your schedule and preferences with no programming, adjusting settings based on learned patterns and cutting energy use.
  • Smart locks
    Bye-bye house key hunt. Synchronize your deadbolt lock to your smartphone or tablet and you’ll never have to fumble at the door – or worry you left your home unprotected – again.

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