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Home Security 2020

The first threat I saw from all those smart homes was the off chance the seller could continue to access the home security system including locks, alarms, cameras, and of course heating and other controls after the sale and transfer is complete. It has happened and I am still working on a standard Addendum that Buyers and Sellers would sign. On the Sellers side the agreement would promise to turn over all home security information including warranties, handbooks, instructions, subscriptions, and of course passwords. On the Buyers side, the Buyer would have written proof to bring into court if their privacy was ever compromised. That seemed like a simple solution.

As usual, Crossroads Real Estate is years ahead of state government and the Real Estate Associations helping to create and govern laws regarding real estate. For years Crossroads Real Estate has been warning about Internet scams that specifically target the Real Estate industry. Some laws have been passed, and some measures taken. But they fall short of stopping scammers, identifying scammers, and imposing fines and penalties to discourage Internet scamming and spying.

Today we face a new threat. Thieves can easily hack into home security systems to disable and control the entire system. It seems like a rather simple process requiring a minimal amount of intelligence and tools. That is only the beginning of the scary part. Imagine a common thief with access to your entire security system. Then imagine a common scammer with access to your home cameras. In this particular case we can see how scammers and thieves are way ahead of the technology war and of course, ahead of every state law.

At the present time there doesn’t seem to be any state laws designed to protect homeowners who invest in security systems. There doesn’t seem to be any standards on home security systems like you would find on other items in the home like plumbing and electrical systems. There may not have to be specific standards on the physical end of the system. But what about the software and communication side of the home security system? Sure the government has stepped in to allow a standard frequency band for home security systems. But for the most part, government involvement and industry standards have stopped on the surface and went no further. The main threat to home security systems lies in the software and communication features. The most important parts of the home security system can be compromised without the owner knowing.

At the present time there is no standard inspection for the home security software and communication network. A homeowner or Buyer has no way of knowing if the home security system has been compromised or how secure the system actually is.

In all likelihood we need state laws to address this security breach. One phase would address the crime of breaching a home security system. This of course would make the job of law enforcement much easier by giving them a specific crime to charge the suspect with. This would also give the courts the tools they need to convict criminals by eliminating the argument that no specific law exists.

We also need training for the general public. Along with training the general public, Real Estate Brokers and Agents should know about this threat and have the ability to educate their clients and customers about home security pitfalls and threats.

What can the average person do to secure their home security system and monitor it to ensure it has not been compromised? At the present time there are a few basic steps a homeowner can take to secure their home security system. I’ve located a few good articles that cover the basics. This is all we can do for now, until we are able to identify and initiate better systems to continue the fight to secure your privacy.

This link covers a few good ideas like changing passwords, using encryption, and how to choose a password. Some of the basics. The site has a host of advertising, and will most likely ask for personal information. Kind of an oxymoron. A security company asking you to give up personal information.

https://www.consumerreports.org/home-security-cameras/keep-home-security-cameras-from-being-hacked/

This article is more in depth. The article covers a few threats not many people know about and how to work to overcome those threats.

https://www.wired.com/2014/07/hacking-home-alarms/

This article covers some basic and advanced steps the average homeowner can take to secure their security system.

https://nmccentral.com/10-ways-to-protect-your-home-security-system-against-hacking/

As we can see, the process of securing your home security system is in it infancy. The industry as a whole has a lot of growing up to do. In the home security industry it seems the thieves are way ahead in the technology war, and we have a lot of catching up to do.

Just a side note. I can work on concepts and ideas for Wisconsin laws and education. You can chip in by sharing this with your lawmakers and Real Estate organizations.

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