Be smart with your home and virtual security

Safe as houses used to be a term that implied a totally secure environment. But increasingly our homes are being targeted not just by burglars, but also by cyber thieves as well.

Let's tackle physical security first. ADT Security recommends, as homes become smarter, to ideally plan home security with home automation technology during the building process to ensure the technology is seamlessly integrated throughout the home.

Think about enlisting a security expert during the planning phase; while most security systems today use wireless technology that makes installation easier, if CCTV is to be installed these systems may be wired and appropriate electrical planning will need to be considered.

You could also seek advice from a security expert about the choice of locks for windows and doors, as well as general landscaping and exterior lighting recommendations.

ADT Security also offers Z-Wave Smart Switches which turn any plug-in appliance into a smart device, with capacity to operate them remotely. This can help give the appearance of someone being home when the house is empty.

You could also consider a Keyless Z-Wave deadbolt which combine a highly secure lockset with an electronic, interactive touchscreen. ADT said the locks can manage up to 250 different pin codes, allowing you to ditch your keys or give access to family, friends or trusted tradies, without the need to hide keys on the premises.

While smart living is wonderful and can add to your security, you still need to take steps to protect the technology behind it.

Trend Micro Incorporated, a cybersecurity solutions company, found through its research that while three-quarters of Australians are open to new technologies like self-driving cars and home-cleaning robots, we aren't very good at taking necessary precautions with them.

Despite a slew of recent high-profile hacking incidents of smart devices, such as baby monitors, hackable cardiac devices and even a Jeep SUV, the research showed that 73 per cent of Australians believe their connected devices are at least moderately secure. This is despite 21 per cent not taking any security measures for these devices and more than half admitting they don't check their home network for unknown or unwanted devices.

The research found that many Australians may not fully understand what a smart or connected device is, as over three-quarters of Australians reported they own only 1-5 connected devices, whereas the average Australian home now has 29 smart devices.

"We keep hearing about the rise of the Internet of Things and the smart home but many Australians may not realise that it's already here and is only set to grow," said Tim Falinski, Senior Director, Consumer, APAC, for Trend Micro.

"What's concerning is that many Australians assume these devices include adequate in-built security when they don't, as we've seen a number of times when they've been hacked.

Simple tips include changing the default password on your connected devices, and using a different password for each.