Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Smart Home? No, Thank You!

I swear to y'all I'm not an overly paranoid person. I don't vary my routine much, or my driving routes, just in case someone is following me. I don't subscribe to the theory that the government is always watching me. Do I think my kids will be kidnapped if they walk down the street? Yes, I do, but that's because I'm a paranoid Mom, but not a paranoid person in general.
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This new home monitoring system by phone or internet craze that's going around scares the ever loving crap out of me, though.

I saw a commercial for a local one last night that runs through our cable provider. For an extra fee a month, you can use your phone to unlock doors at your house (in case the latch-key kid forgets her key, as the commercial so lovingly portrayed), set the temperature on your thermostat, turn lights on and off, and watch what your kids are doing via small cameras that are installed all over the house.

Does anyone else see anything wrong with this? It gives me those creepy horror movie chills and sends my red flags shooting up in every direction.

My mind goes absolutely crazy with stuff like this. What happens if a hacker gets into the system of the cable company, or whoever is providing your home monitoring system? They can unlock your doors and let anyone in, whether or not you are home.

What keeps a perv employee (like whoever installs your system) from sitting at home doing goodness knows what while watching you sleep?

What happens if you lose your phone, and some stranger has access to everything that you work so hard to protect?

All of these things run rampant through my head when I see one of these commercials. The families on TV
are smiling, laughing, and look like they feel secure knowing they have control over their home.

Pervs have stepped up their game
from having to do this...
What they don't realize is if they have control over their home, someone else has control of that control. That's the ultra-creepy part. Someone has set up online access for you, someone installed the system for you, someone in home office has your password or secret word just in case your alarm is ever set off. Someone has more control than you, and they are giving you what little control over the system you need.

There's this angle, too: Anything with internet access can be hacked by anyone else on the internet. So, even if the hacker couldn't figure out how to open your doors or set your thermostat on 100 degrees for shits and giggles, they probably could at least hack into the live camera feeds. So, while you think you are alone in the house, watching that cooking show, picking your nose and talking to yourself, someone could be watching the whole thing, laughing their ass off.

No thank you. Not me.

I don't care how 'convenient' it might be to turn your thermostat off before you go to work to save money and then turn it back on a 1/2 hour before you get home so the house temperature is perfect. I don't care how awesome it would be to turn the lights on and off while I'm at the grocery store and freak out everyone in the house.

Okay, that would be the only selling point for me. That would be amazing.

And, everyone can spare me the 'no one would know your password' speech or 'it's done over an encrypted secure internet connection' angle. I know these things. But, just as hackers can get into your bank account, your facebook, your email, etc, I'm sure they can get their way into your home, too, especially if you wire everything- including access to it- to the internet. Sheesh.

I'll keep my house from being what they are dubbing a 'Smart House'. I don't want anyone to have control over what's in my house, or who gets into my house, except for me and my family. That's it.

Does anyone have one of these systems installed in their house? If so, did the paranoia aspect ever cross your mind? Is it worth it to have the sense of security with one of these systems? Please, share below. I'd love to hear an actual account of the flip side of this!

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  1. All I could think while reading this was how I felt when reading "1984." The whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking, "Oooh, I hope he gets away." Yeah. My paranoia with this sort of thing has to do with the government. I may be a tad bit more paranoid than you.

    1. LOL, naw, I'm not too government paranoid. Crazy stalker that wants to make me put lotion on my skin and then hack me up into little pieces paranoid? That's me.