By Richard Soloway, NAPCO Security Technologies
The stunning growth of “smart home” security systems at big box retailers has made it easier than ever for anyone to install home surveillance cameras, alarms, and the like. Many electronics manufacturers now offer home security products with Do It Yourself (DIY) installations, smartphone interfaces, and, most notably, low prices.
Recent data confirms the growing popularity of this new family of DIY home security products, and an increasing number of consumers are now willing to invest in a connected home. Fifteen million Americans will own connected home systems by 2019 according to some estimates.
These DIY security systems are affordable and easy to find at your local stores, but are they actually secure and the right product to protect your family? For some people, DIY solutions are not the best choice. Here are three reasons why DIY security may put home owners and their families at risk, plus some advice on how people can better protect themselves:
1. Inexperienced Manufacturers
As evidenced by Google’s 2014 decision to issue a safety recall of 440,000 of its Nest smoke alarms, it has become a question whether the quality of the new DIY security technologies matches the quality of long-established professional security providers. Much of this concern stems from manufacturers lack of security industry experience.
Simply stated, the vast majority of DIY smart home products are sold by consumer electronics companies with little or no track record in the security space. This inexperience should raise a red flag for consumers, as inadequate technology could result in inadequate protection from home invasions, fires and carbon monoxide leaks.
In order to properly protect one’s home, self and family, individuals should work with a professional security provider that manufactures superior-class equipment and technology.
2. One Size Fits All Installations
Although simple, step-by-step installation instructions are offered up by some as a competitive advantage for DIY security systems, one size fits all installations can pose major risks to homeowners. Every home has a unique set of potential entry points and “high-risk” areas which ultimately require the knowledge and expertise that trained security professionals provide.
3. Poor Data Protection
Just as Google’s recalled fire alarms offered scant protection from real world threats like fires, many other DIY security systems offer little to no defense against cyber threats. With dozens of devices connected to a single smartphone app, hackers have numerous opportunities to glean personal data from homeowners. For instance, after testing 16 popular DIY security brands, research firm Synack was able to hack into 15 different systems in just under 20 minutes. Thus, many DIY security devices may not only be ineffective at keeping intruders out, but they may be inviting hackers in.
So what is the solution? Home owners need to research the various security options beyond DIY solutions that fit their wants, needs and budget. Protecting one’s home and family is a serious and important obligation, and understanding the features and details will help people make informed decisions for a more secure home.
Richard Soloway, CEO of NAPCO Security Technologies, Inc. one of the world’s leading solutions providers and manufacturers of high-technology electronic security, connected home, video, fire alarm, access control and door locking systems. www.napcosecurity.com