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Home Insecurity

by Jenna Jenkins

Smart home systems such as the Google Nest and Amazon Ring have had rapid popularity over the past few years. People from all over the country are able to purchase these devices with just the press of a button. Customers hold the false belief, however, that these security systems will do the job of looking out for potential threats from all corners of the house.

Amazon’s Ring has marketed their video doorbell product as a way to “see, hear and speak to visitors from anywhere.” But what if these visitors were actually hackers secretly watching your every move?

In 2018, a family purchased a Google Nest to confirm safety in their home. It did not take long for their Nest to get hacked into. According to the New York Post, vulgar music began play loudly throughout their home and their thermostat turned up to a sweltering 90 degrees. Even after the family turned the thermostat back down, the hacker cranked it back up again. The family unplugged the Nest and decided to never use it again.

Another horrifying incident occurred in 2019, as a hacker began conversing with a young boy through his family’s Amazon Ring, according to ABC News. No matter where the child ran, the hacker was able to see him in every spot of the house. The criminal even asked for the child’s name, as he eerily watched him run around in total panic. The mother said that her decision to purchase this security system, “totally backfired.”

Another instance occurred when a man hacked into a Google Nest baby monitor. According to NBC News, the family heard a man saying sexual expletives to their baby through the monitor. In the interview with NBC, the mother emotionally stated how this hacker even threatened to kidnap their baby.

There have been hundreds of terrifying occasions where criminals have spied on families and threatened innocent people inside their homes. While these smart systems sound like amazing ideas, in retrospect, they seem to be doing much more harm than good.

If a criminal hacks into someone’s home security, they have the ability to control objects such as lights and blinds, as well as the ability to unlock or lock doors. These cameras can be placed almost anywhere on one’s property, from every room inside of the house to the front porch and backyard. This gives criminals the simplest access to know all of the ins and outs of one’s home.

Home security systems should be made illegal, at least until companies find a proper solution to the threat these hackers truly are. These “home security” cameras are not looking out for potential threats, they are just allowing for these threats to barge in without knocking.

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