Guest OpEd by Scott McKinley, Assistant Vice President, Premium Technical Support for Pocket Geek Home
Privacy concerns with many smart home tech devices are on the rise as of recently, in which 60% of Americans say they consider themselves “very” or “extremely” concerned about the security of their smart-home tech.
From the most popular smart devices, including TVs, speakers, and lightbulbs, to even smart kitchen appliances, all smart home products can be left vulnerable to intrusion from others outside the home.
(Smart home tech can make life easier — but it does come with a risk. Courtesy of Click On Detroit | Local 4 | WDIV and YouTube. Posted on Feb 22, 2022.)
Some of the top smart-home security concerns include password exploitation (41%), identify theft (39%), and even having one’s location tracked (36%), which frames the question of how retailers can help their end-user customers better protect their devices and make sure they are connected properly to ensure these concerns are addressed.
The Right Privacy Support Experience Retailers Can Provide
As each specifically branded smart device may have different capabilities and instructions in the initial setup than another, retailers should consider supplying privacy tech support to help secure the home’s Wi-Fi network connection.
As many, if not all, smart devices require a stable internet connection, retailers can provide the homeowner with the right support and protection for their privacy when using their smart device, including monitoring the Wi-Fi router.
For example, protected tech support can help alert the customer of hackers potentially trying to access the home’s network and seeing the devices attached to it. This could ultimately prompt against further activity in trying to access connections to the devices and stealing personal information.
Another key to retailers offering support services in protecting a smart device is educating the consumer about enabling multi-factor authentication in the device’s settings.
Multi-factor authentication, which most businesses now use to protect private information, is a method that requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to the specific device.
As individual consumers may not be fully aware of multi-factor authentication, tech support services can help electronic manufacturers show them how to set it up in the setting of the device, or even help guide them through it, whether it be another password, numbers, or a fingerprint to enter, only from the person trying to access the smart device.
Whether one buys the smart device directly from the manufacturer or through another distributor, protected tech support offerings can also help the retailer and the consumer understand what updates, if any, are needed on the device itself before use, which is also helpful in protecting the device’s privacy from other outside users.
Often times in the device’s settings there can be software or firmware updates needed and these updates can include added protection to the data stored on the device.
Moreover, when performing device updates, the location settings of the device should also be kept in mind. Just as one allows certain apps to track where they are throughout the day, smart home devices also have these capabilities, which means they can see every movement throughout the home and store that data for future use.
Protected smart home tech support can help decide when and where to disable location services on a specific device, while not impacting the device’s ability to work the way it is supposed to.
(Outsmart your smart home. One plan can cover your family’s smart home devices including TVs, laptops, tablets, gaming systems, smartwatches, Bluetooth headphones, and more. Enrollment? Easy. Claims? Easy. Coverage? Awesome. For less than $1 a day everyone in your home can get the support and protection they need to outsmart their smart home. Courtesy of Pocket Geek Home by Assurant and Vimeo.)
Specific Device Help for Retailers
When looking at protecting homeowner privacy, one common device being referenced is the smart TV, in which TV manufacturers can actually monitor one’s viewing habits. Most smart TVs use ACR, or “Automatic Content Recognition,” which tends to scan the shows watched and share that data with third-party services ultimately to then advertise other shows to watch.
However, protected home support can help the end-user disable ACR on their particular smart TV.
Another smart device many have privacy issues with are smart speakers, such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Nest. As smart speakers are able to record voice prompts, support offerings can also help review and delete these recordings in the device’s settings and be removed altogether by disabling the microphone when not in use.
(Learn More from an expert on the frontlines of technical support on how folks can get a helping hand while getting connected to their smart devices. Courtesy of FOX 24 News Now and YouTube. Posted on Jan 25, 2022.)
Future of Smart Home Privacy
With more smart home devices hitting the market in 2022 and beyond, these tips in terms of connectivity, password protection, usage settings, and specific device applications, will definitely help retailers help their customers increase the privacy protection of the home’s smart devices and give a sense of clarity as these devices evolve.
Smart homeowners can now better understand the risks associated with these devices and be more prepared to combat them.
Today’s smart home is also supposed to be a secure home and by implementing the right tech support provider, homeowners can feel comfortable using their smart devices without the fear of someone trying to hack them.
About The Author
Scott McKinley is the Assistant Vice President of Premium Technical Support for Pocket Geek Home. For more information visit www.pocketgeekhome.com.
Scott is a business executive with extensive experience in Sales and Operations within multi-site and global help desk/service desk/customer care/contact center environments.
His experience over the years has been related to building strategic technical support & customer care solutions, running contact center operations, managing teams of Solution Architects and Project Managers responsible for transitioning/transforming new business, and selling to strategic business partners/channels.
guardDog Solutions Named a Triple-Winner in 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now in its Seventh Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
guardDog Solutions (First of Three)
Best Cyber Analytics Solution
guardDog Protective Cloud Services (PCS) is an AI-powered network security solution that doesn’t require cyber security expertise to operate.
Once activated, users’ Fido device goes to work by detecting threats and vulnerabilities on your network.
From there, the users’ cloud dashboard displays incidents by threat level and shows them information on how to resolve the issues before they become a problem.
guardDog Solutions (Second of Three)
Best Vulnerability Management Solution
Installation is a snap, and protection is a power light away.
Secure a home, a small office, a large enterprise, or any other organization with a cyber security management solution made easy that offers services to match the user’s needs.
How it Works: Unbox your Fido device, connect to your network, and register. From the moment the power light appears, protection begins. Fido gets to know your network and your devices.
It recognizes intruders and defends your network and devices. When someone attacks, it deploys automated countermeasures. User’s networks and devices are scanned vigilantly to protect against the known, and the unknown.
guardDog Solutions (Third of Three)
Best Threat Intelligence Solution
No Experience Required
Last year alone there were over 12,000 new vulnerability exploits that emerged, and no human could really keep up with that. guardDog’s ai-powered service learns about these attacks and keeps user’s Fido devices up to date.
The training never stops to prevent a crisis before it happens.
guardDog.ai has developed a cloud-based software service with a companion device that works together to simplify network security.
The solution exposes invisible threats on networks, and the devices attached to them, with patented technology to address and prevent cybersecurity threats before they compromise network environments.
The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards highlight the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
The United States was forever changed 20 years ago on September 11th, and we were fortunate to have many of those who responded to those horrific tragedies join us at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon.
In the days that followed 9/11, the critical needs of protecting our country catapulted us into new and innovative ways to secure our homeland – which is how many of the agencies and enterprise organizations that are today ‘ASTORS’ Awards Champions, came into being.
Our 2021 keynote speaker featured a moving and informative address from TSA Administrator and Vice-Admiral of the United States Coast Guard (Ret), David Pekoske; to our attendees who traveled from across the United States and abroad, on the strategic priorities of the 64,000 member TSA workforce in securing the transportation system, enabling safe, and in many cases, contactless travel.
Legendary Police Commissioner William Bratton of the New York Police Department, the Boston Police Department, and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department was also live at the event, meeting with attendees and signing copies of his latest work ‘The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America,’ courtesy of the generosity of our 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Premier Sponsors.
The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program was Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK, Fortior Solutions and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.
The continually evolving ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program will emphasize the trail of Accomplished Women in Leadership in 2022, as well as the Significance and Positive Impact of Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in our Next Generation of Government and Industry Leaders. #MentorshipMatters
So be on the lookout for exciting upcoming announcements of Speakers, Presenters, Book Signing Opportunities, and Attendees at the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon in November of 2022 in New York City!
2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program Welcomes New PLATINUM SPONSOR: NEC National Security Systems (NSS)!
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.
Comprehensive List of Categories Include:
|Access Control/ Identification||Personal/Protective Equipment||Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism|
|Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System||Interagency Interdiction Operation||Cloud Computing/Storage Solution|
|Facial/IRIS Recognition||Body Worn Video Product||Cyber Security|
|Video Surveillance/VMS||Mobile Technology||Anti-Malware|
|Audio Analytics||Disaster Preparedness||ID Management|
|Thermal/Infrared Camera||Mass Notification System||Fire & Safety|
|Metal/Weapon Detection||Rescue Operations||Critical Infrastructure|
|License Plate Recognition||Detection Products||COVID Innovations|
|Workforce Management||Government Security Programs||And Many Others to Choose From!|
Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?
Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: email@example.com.
In 2021 over 200 distinguished guests representing Federal, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms gathered from across North America, Europe, and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included:
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- ICE Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI)
- Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
- The Federal Protective Service (FPS)
- Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
- DHS Science & Technology (S&T)
- The National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health (NCDMPH)
- The American Red Cross
- The InfraGard National Alliance
- The Metropolitan Police (MPD)
- The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)
- Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)
- The Federal Air Marshals Service
- The San Diego Harbor Police Foundation, and Many More!
Corporate firms, the majority of which return year to year to build upon their record of accomplishment include:
AlertMedia, Allied Universal, AMAROK, ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Axis Communications, Automatic Systems of America, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., Fortior Solutions, guardDog.ai, Hanwha Techwin of America, HID Global, Mark43, IPVideo Corporation, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Lumina Analytics, NEC National Security Systems, NICE Public Safety, OnSolve, PureTech Systems, Quantum Corporation, Rave Mobile Safety, Regroup Mass Notification, Robotic Assistance Devices, Rajant Corporation, SafeLogic, Senstar Corporation, ShotSpotter, Singlewire Software, SolarWinds Worldwide, Teledyne FLIR, Valor Systems, and Wiresecure, just to name a few!
Why American Security Today?
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast-changing security landscape.
American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State, and local levels of government as well as firms allied to the government.
American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers’ eyes throughout the story with cutting-edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.
Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications
AST Digital Publications are distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals, in federal, state, local, and private security sectors.
‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’
AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.
Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture, and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.
These experts are from Government at the federal, state, and local level as well as from private firms allied to the government.
AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website, and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.
AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.
Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.
(See just a few highlights of American Security Today’s 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East. Courtesy of My Pristine Images and Vimeo.)
To learn more about ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please see the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2021 ‘A Year in Review’.
The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of Annual ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firm’s products and services, including video interviews and more.
It serves as your Go-To Source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2021 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and/or organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.
From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection, and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.
For a complete list of 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, begin HERE.
For more information on All Things American Security Today, as well as the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:
- Provides named sources
- Reported by more than one notable outlet
- Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos