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For Some, Smart Homes May Be Too Smart

Is the TV listening to me? Could a company get hacked and leak my doorbell videos? Smart devices make life easier but also make some people uncomfortable.

NEW YORK – While smart-home technology adds convenience to a homeowner’s lifestyle, many Americans worry about potential shortcomings when it comes to users’ privacy. The average person owns five smart-home devices, according to a new poll of 1,000 consumers conducted by Frontier, a telecommunications company. The most popular smart devices are TVs (61%), speakers (35%) and lightbulbs (25%).

However, less than one in four (22%) has a smart security system, roughly the same number that have a smart fridge.

Smart-home tech is leading to safety concerns, and about 30% of survey respondents have avoided smart locks due to security concerns – and more than two-thirds say they leave at least one smart-home device unplugged due to security concerns.

While it may just be an excuse not to adopt technology, about 60% of Americans surveyed said they consider themselves “very” or “extremely” concerned about the security of their smart-home tech.

Top smart-home security concerns

  • Password problems: 41%
  • Identity theft: 39%
  • Having their location tracked: 36%
  • Manipulating their data: 32%
  • Home intrusion: 30%
  • Outsides being able to spy on them: 29%
  • Tech problems with their apps: 28%
  • Cyberattacks: 28%

Source: “Safety Concerns in Today’s Smart Home,” Frontier (2022)

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