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Balancing Convenience and Privacy Concerns: Choosing The Right Home Automation Setup

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At the end of the year, consumers are bombarded with both advertisements for home automation devices, as well as dire warnings about how these devices can invade your privacy. In this post, Calgary home automation team addresses these concerns so that you can confidently make the best home automation choices for your needs.

Most home automation is simple: thermostats, coffee makers, TVs, and lighting can all be customized to your specifications, saving you time, effort, and even cutting your energy bill. However, despite these benefits, some people hold off on adopting this system due to fears about privacy. That's why we're addressing frequently-asked questions about home automation systems, security, and privacy. We’ve based our answers to common security questions on our own experience in the Calgary home automation industry, as well as studies and articles from around the net.


Question #1: Is My Voice-Controlled Device Always Recording?

Many individuals have a concern that if an automated home assistant is monitoring their speech, it is continuously recording everything that they say. This topic has also been talked about at length in many popular technology publications.

In a University of Washington study, 3 out of 15 people interviewed cited this as a concern, while another 5 mentioned it but were not concerned about it. It was the most highly-mentioned security issue by individuals in this study.

Understandably, the idea that your home automation assistant is monitoring everything you say might raise some concern. However, this is not the case. Most home automation devices, when live, are listening for keywords and voice commands, such as the name of the digital assistant or a specific action to be performed. It does NOT record all data and continuously and/or send it to company servers: not only would this be a huge invasion of privacy, but these companies would also end up with an impractical amount of data. Most of these apps give you the ability to review recorded requests in an app.

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Question #2: I Want Security Footage Of My Home, But Don’t Want Cameras Constantly Recording. What can I do?

Some consumers want to be able to record any suspicious activity in their home, but do not enjoy the feeling of having cameras constantly recording. In these cases, smart, motion-activated cameras would be the ideal solution. These cameras begin recording when they sense movement.

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Question #3: Are Home Automation Systems And Smart Devices Vulnerable To Being “Hacked”?

Over the past few years, there has been concern about data breaches and botnet attacks resulting from hackers gaining access to home automation and security devices.

While no system can be guaranteed to be 100% invulnerable to breaches, our Calgary home automation team believes in carefully vetting the track record of both the product manufacturer and the system itself.

We recommend:

  • shopping around for products with strong security reviews.
  • going with established reputations and transparent security processes.
  • not purchasing products that come with a pre-set, obvious default security code.
  • investing in products with two-factor authentication.
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Question #4: Can My Smart Lock Be Broken Into?

The study from researchers at the University of Washington also revealed that homeowners are worried about the physical security of their home, rather than privacy breaches from hacking. Flowing from this broad concern is the worry that smart locks, while convenient, could leave your home vulnerable to break-ins.

It is important to note, first of all, that most smart locks are physically just as strong as a regular deadbolt: on average they are usually no better yet no worse at preventing a forced entry. However, they do protect against several “human error” factors.

This is because smart locks:

  • allow you to give different types of access to different people: for example, a sitter or Airbnb guest can be allowed limited access.
  • eliminate inconveniences that arise when residents (especially children) forget or misplace keys.
  • allow you to lock or unlock your home remotely.
  • can be combined with other devices, such as cameras, or programmed to send you updates when there is an entry or even signs of the lock being tampered with.

In order to make the most out of your smart lock, our Calgary home automation experts recommend:

  • choosing smart locks from reputable manufacturers.
  • never keeping any default passwords associated on the lock.
  • regularly changing your password.


Contact Our Calgary Home Automation Team

To find out more about our custom security solutions, whether it’s for your home or business, contact our Calgary alarm company today at 403-291-9311 or fill in our online contact form.

Get the Peace of Mind You Deserve

You’ve worked hard to build your business or buy your home. Now it’s time to protect them properly and give yourself the peace of mind you deserve. Our full-service security solutions can give whatever matters most to you the 360° protection it needs. Contact us today by calling (403) 291-9311 or by filling out the form below and put us on your frontline.

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