Video doorbells seem to be the must-have smart home kit. Everyone's talking about them (at least within our earshot). Why? They give you peace of mind when you're out or away – and, on dark nights, when you're in. But according to new research by Money Saving Heroes, they're the least trusted home technology.
And they're not alone. Other smart home devices come under fire, and as much as a third of us doesn't trust the upcoming 5G rollout, with many of those asked suggesting they would opt out if given the chance.
For those with an interest in technology and the Internet of Things, it can be difficult to understand what exactly it is that sceptics are concerned about. And, if their claims are justified, should more of us be worried?
Below we discuss the research in more depth, taking into account the concerns that respondents reported regarding video doorbells, smart technology and 5G. We'll also offer advice on protecting yourself from potential threats.
- For jargon-free smart home guides and advice, head over to The Hub
- Video doorbells: what are they and do you need one?
Should we be concerned about video doorbells and other smart technology?
We'll admit, we were quite surprised to discover that the technology which most concerned those asked was not 5G or smart assistants, but video doorbells. On further investigation, their concerns become a little clearer:
- The top reason for not trusting video doorbells is that they're thought to be easily hackable, with data and footage being wiped should an incident occur (43 per cent). The same applied for concerns regarding smart home hubs.
If you're concerned about the safety of your smart home system, including video doorbells, we'd recommend implementing the following steps:
- Rename your router – opt for a random name that doesn't relate to your name, address, or location;
- Change your passwords – 123 is not a good choice of password; something random, with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols is your best bet;
- Keep your software up to date – don't ignore manufacturers' demands to update software, it could be the case that it's been triggered by a security breech, so is definitely worth your while;
- Check your settings – don't just assume that your smart system is automatically set up with your best security interests in mind. Take time to make changes that will reduce accessibility.
Should we be concerned about 5G?
The next generation of wireless network, 5G has the capacity to enable a whole host of new technologies, including autonomous cars, smart technology and, almost certainly, many things we have not even dreamt up, yet.
But, many people are concerned about its potentially negative effects. Those asked reported the following concerns:
- Teething issues leaving handsets unusable (32 per cent).
- Concerns regarding 5G leaving devices vulnerable to hackers (22 per cent).
- Fear of people listening into phone calls (14 per cent)
- While not covered by the research, much of the backlash against 5G is underpinned by uncertainty regarding its health implications. Most prominently, the impact of 5G waves on the brain, though more research is required.
Commenting on the research, George Charles, a spokesperson for Money Saving Heroes, comments, 'People are bound to have their doubts about 5G; as with any new technology there are usually small teething problems, especially being a new piece of technology that that infrastructure needs to be built for. However, there are layers of protecting you can put into place, as with most pieces of technology and gadgets around the home, to protect you from hackers.'
We refer you to our tips, above.