A lot is happening out there with smart technology. Now, I’m not a high-tech kind of guy. I need my 10-year old granddaughter to figure out a new phone whenever I get one, so that’s where I’m at in life.

I’m your host Todd Bird. This is AskTheContractors.com. Your source for local Home Improvement Pros. We cut through it all and nail things down.

Smart home devices are taking center stage this season, but there are so many choices to consider. Ira Victor, Digital Forensic Analyst with Discovery Technician joins me to help figure this out.

I see Alexis, and Google Assistant and it is amazing technology. The truth is, manufacturers of technology devices are looking to home automation as the next big thing to juice their bottom line. In other words, they want to sell lots of this stuff. Smartphone sales are leveling off. Keep in mind this is just software and hardware, with all of the flaws, and security, and privacy issues go along with our computers.

Ira explains some of the pitfalls

“I help people who are being sued over digital information. This information in all these home automation systems is ending up in court. Even if you did nothing wrong, the lawsuits are flying around everywhere. In fact, the insurance company will pay the claim when someone is damaged by technology. Then the insurance company starts looking around for people to get some of their money back.”

Smart Home Technology benefits us, and it’s here to stay

“You can get sued when a party suffers damage, and when they know that someone else has digital information it can cost a lot of money. Some examples include people buying a home. Buyers and sellers get together with all sorts of people involved; Home Inspections and Real Estate folks, and Bankers, mortgage brokers, and repair business, etc.”

“Somewhere in the transaction the fraudsters slip in, and the money that was supposed to go between the buyer to the seller ends up getting rerouted by cyber-criminals to an overseas bank.”

How prepared are escrow companies to deal with this?

“Some of the people involved in a real estate transaction are a little prepared, and many of them are not prepared at all. They think, why are criminals targeting me? Similarly, they’re targeting the trades involved in the transaction to get enough information to do a crime. Many times the other parties are just innocent bystanders, but the attorneys or the insurance companies that’s damaged will start naming defendants.”

“This goes back to home automation. The home automation system can get in snarled in litigation, it’s time-consuming, and often very costly.”

How do we protect ourselves against this?

Think about what you’re buying. Are you buying something you really need? Are you buying something you want? Think about the risks.

Ira Victor, Digital Forensic Analyst with Discovery Technician
Smart Home

“So, for example if you are buying a home automation system that has video, monitoring the video outside of your home or inside of your home. That data could very well end up in court. You may say okay, well I want this video surveillance around my house. That’s important to me. I’m willing to take the risk of litigation. Then, by all means, protect that data. I’ve seen these home automation systems that are connected up to home networks. They’re opening up significant security vulnerabilities in that home network, introducing more risk. If there’s an attack that damages somebody else, you could be liable.”

“It’s a risk. Keep your eyes wide open when you’re bringing this level of technology into your home. You are introducing new risks, and you need to be aware of those risks.

Take steps to minimize the risk that could hurt you

How do these risks play into smart technology with our homes? I mean, people are connecting appliances, electronics, etc. Are those entry points for people being able to retrieve information through those devices?

Todd Bird, Host of AskTheContractors.com

“Absolutely. It’s not that criminals are retrieving your information through the devices. Many of these smart home or home digital systems are opening up your home network. That home network has your computers and your files. However, I’ve seen in people’s home network with home automation, they’ve got their taxes on that Network. Sensitive information will be stolen and used to hurt somebody. And when you add an online toaster or online device, you are potentially opening up your network too many vulnerabilities.

“It’s not the bad guy hurting you, it’s using your network and data hurt others and that’s when you can feel the real impact when you get a lawsuit.“

This technology is hitting us left and right, and we do have to protect ourselves.

I encourage you to contact Ira Victor. He’s a great resource to help people if you are going through these issues.

Certainly, great advice. If you have smart technology in your home, you have to protect ourselves.

Smart Home

There are some smart thermostats out there that will make your life easier and help you save money. All of them connect wirelessly to the internet and feature remote sensors to adjust your home heating and cooling through a website or a mobile app. We like smart technology because it allows you to efficiently manager your energy and electric use.


Do you have any thoughts on Smart Home Technology? Send me a message through AskTheContractors.com. Let me know what’s on your mind.

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