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Three quarters of Britons fearful of connected homes, citing security and privacy as concerns

Posted on 28th September 2017 at 11:28am

Smart home tech is predicted to reduce bills and the cost of home insurance, but MoneySuperMarket research shows that 76 per cent of Britons are wary of potential risks.

Smart homes and the Internet of Things bring many safety and security benefits, but manufacturers may have to overcome fears about hacking and unwanted surveillance (image: Aleksei Derin / 123rf)

MoneySuperMarket reveals that the UK has deep concerns about the impending smart home revolution, despite the likely cost savings. Seventy-six per cent of Britons admit to being ‘fearful’ of the smart homes concept, with unapproved data collection cited as the greatest worry.

Other concerns include the technology being hacked by criminals (51 per cent), being made unusable by a virus (43 per cent) and recording them without their knowledge (42 per cent).

The UK’s price comparison website polled over 2,000 people to get their opinions on smart home technology and the Internet of Things. The research found that while the majority (77 per cent) of Brits had heard of a ‘connected’ home, only six per cent claimed to know a lot about smart home technology. The most popular gadget was a smart TV, with 30 per cent ownership among those surveyed, followed by a smart energy meter (16 per cent). 

Despite public concern, the benefits of investing in smart home technology are likely to outweigh the fears. The convenience, security and cost-saving elements of owning a connected home can be advantageous and it is predicted that there will be 25-30 billion Internet of Things devices worldwide by the early 2020s.

Smart home technology focused on home security and fire prevention benefits insurers as it reduces claims, with insurers then able to pass these savings on to consumers. Fifty-eight per cent of those surveyed of Brits said they would buy a smart device if helped them save money on their home insurance.

To help consumers understand the facts about smart homes and see how they could benefit, MoneySuperMarket has launched its Connected Homes Hub.

Dan Plant, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Smart technology promises to transform our homes by enhancing security, improving energy efficiency and generally making our domestic lives smoother and more efficient. However, many people are understandably anxious that the benefits will be countered by threats, such as hacking and loss of privacy.  

“It’s up to the makers of smart devices and applications to reassure consumers that they are not putting themselves at risk. And it’s also vital that any cost savings that flow from adopting connected technology, such as reduced pay-outs for burglary claims, are passed on to customers in the form of lower home insurance premiums.”

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