Emmanuel Katto : Is Smart Home Safe?

Hello Folks,

Emmanuel Katto here, i just want to know that smart homes are safe or not because if one have hack to crack than it is risky. please share your views .

I think it all comes down to the details.

For example, in many towns in the United States, it’s pretty easy for a burglar to break into a residential home, just by prying open a window. So it doesn’t make any difference What kind of lock you have on the door, it’s not going to keep a determined intruder out because they aren’t going to engage with the lock anyway.

Smart home technology varies tremendously from brand to brand and even model to model in how secure it is from hacking.

I doubt if having Home Automation is going to make most homes any less physically secure than they were before they had it. :thinking:

There is one specific category where you would need to research deeply based on your own requirements and the various models available, and that’s home security cameras. In that case it’s less of a physical safety issue than it is one of privacy, but there’s definitely a lot of variation in this device class on how secure The images are.

So it’s an interesting discussion topic, but there’s no single answer. It all comes down to the details.

Here’s a good recent article on the topic:

BTW, One area where I do frequently see Home Automation enthusiasts introduce some physical dangers to their own homes is in the area of fire and electrical safety.

There are many devices which would be perfectly safe if used according to the manufacturer directions, but where individuals install them in a way which is inconsistent with those directions. for example, they might use a relay intended for lighting up to 10 A to control a 15 amp motorized device. :thinking:

Or they might automate something in a way which is a violation of their local safety codes.

That’s not the fault of the technology: it’s an inappropriate installation. But it is an unfortunate hazard category.

One of the worst fires ever in California, for example, where there were multiple deaths, was caused by a homeowner who had run an electrical line to a hot tub in his backyard that violated multiple local safety regulations, and ended up causing the fire that killed some of his neighbors. Very sad and entirely avoidable.

On a smaller scale, for example, I have seen people install a homemade automatic window closer that had no safety features at all, creating a hazard for pets or children who might get caught in it.

As I have mentioned before in this community, I personally don’t wire anything into mains power that doesn’t have strong safety certifications, or that would be a hazard if it ran unattended for 24 hours. Other people may not be that cautious, and as long as they are following local safety codes, it’s obviously a personal decision, but it is an aspect of Home Automation that I think we would all do well to consider when starting new projects. Home automation devices can and do sometimes turn on or off unexpectedly. So we need to take that into account in our own homes.

Here’s a community FAQ on what makes UL safety listings different if you’re interested:

FAQ: Does UL Certification matter?

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